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Aida Cardenas, Exec. Dir., Building Skills Partnership

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Latino Role Models Success

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In high-rise buildings and industrial parks throughout California, tens of thousands of janitors toil through the night to keep workplaces clean. Ninety percent of them are immigrants, most never finished grade school, and many are struggling to learn English while working long hours for low wages.
 
Aida Cardenas’ organization, Building Skills Partnership, offers these workers a rare chance to invest in their futures by acquiring skills-training on the job, while also helping employers cultivate a more efficient and knowledgeable workforce.
 
The non-profit partnership, with offices in four regions of the state, was founded in 2000 in the wake of janitors’ strikes and contentious negotiations between the Service Employees International Union and employers. Cardenas, the organization’s executive director, convinced the two unlikely allies to collaborate on an innovative training program aimed at giving immigrant janitors skills that can lead to advancement and new economic opportunities.
 
Visit the website at Building Skills Partnership.
 

 

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