We have been very busy this month, and that is a good thing.
Caltrans has a history of giving back to the communities we serve, and this month exemplifies that commitment.
District 7 was one of the sponsors of Construction Awareness Day at the Los Angeles Trade Technical School in downtown Los Angeles with several industry partners. This event gives Caltrans staff the opportunity to encourage high school students to seek various careers in the construction industry. Also, Caltrans staff spoke about what Caltrans does and how we could be a potential employer. Playing a positive role in the lives of these young men and women is a major positive for us that we must embrace.
Several district staff members volunteered as judges for the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair, in Pasadena. Over 1,000 Los Angeles County middle and high schools students participated in the fair. These staff members are to be commended for using their expertise to assist youth interested in science and engineering.
It is quite clear from the awards and recognition that District 7 has received from industry groups, that we are accomplishing quite a lot. On April 7, I had the honor of receiving the Distinguished Owner award from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), Southern California Chapter on behalf of District 7. This award was presented for our commitment to CMAA and the construction management industry.
During these difficult economic times public perception is very important. It appears that the public and media are very concerned with how resources are used, including our time and the use of state vehicles. Unfortunately, some mistakenly think Caltrans is not an effective organization, but that is not the case. Caltrans has the largest freeway construction program ever. Statewide we have over $10 billion in going construction.
We recently held a press conference with officials from the City of Los Angeles and AEG (the owner of the Staples Center, LA Live, and the LA Kings) to inform the public about the long-term closure of the 11th Avenue on-ramp to the northbound Harbor Freeway (SR-110) in downtown Los Angeles. The ramp is heavily used by motorists attending events at downtown sports and entertainment venues. To reduce delays, the detour plan will remain fluid. This event was an example of how Caltrans partners with local agencies and businesses for the common good.
In conclusion, as with everything we do at Caltrans, we must take time to remember co-workers who have lost their lives while maintaining, operating, and building our freeway system. I encourage District 7 employees to attend Workers Memorial on Friday, May 6, at 9:30 a.m. at Dodgers Stadium. If you would like to attend, please be sure to check with your supervisor.