Recently, PPG and Jennifer, PPG final assembly operator, aerospace, were recognized during a video tribute at the Union Rescue Mission’s (URM) annual Angels of Hope Telethon Special, hosted by actor and comedian Joel McHale.
For more than 130 years, URM has been helping to transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, California with food, shelter, education, counseling and long-term recovery programs. After an overwhelming rise of women in need within the region, the nonprofit responded by opening Hope Gardens Family Center, a transitional living and permanent supportive housing facility for women and children in Sylmar, California.
Our PPG employees at the aerospace transparencies facility in Sylmar have been long-time supporters of URM’s mission, and more specifically of the Hope Gardens Family Center. In October 2018, 150 employee volunteers inspired hope by transforming living spaces at the facility through a PPG COLORFUL COMMUNTIES® project, leading URM to recognize PPG with the 2018 Heart of Transformation Award.
These contributions were noted at the URM’s 10th annual Angels of Hope Gala where PPG received the Heart of Transformation award. Following the initial Colorful Communities project, PPG and Hope Gardens furthered their partnership in efforts to support current residents and their journey to reenter the workforce. PPG developed an innovative job trainings program, which included life skill courses to better prepare the women of Hope Gardens for future employment opportunities that would provide stability and a living wage. The program also included apprenticeship opportunities at PPG’s aerospace facility in Sylmar.
This year, PPG and Jennifer, a former resident and counselor at Hope Gardens, were recognized at the Angels of Hope Telethon Special, held virtually on April 17. Jennifer participated in PPG’s job training program in 2019 – never imagining it would lead to a fulltime career and new way of life for her and her children.
Shortly after the job-training session, Jennifer was hired by a third-party firm to work at the aerospace transparencies facility, and since then, has become a permanent and valuable member of the team.
“When Jennifer joined PPG, she started out by working on the military side of our business,” said Mark Hood, plant manager, Sylmar, aerospace. “She quickly learned the skillset needed to support one of our top, military secure programs for the F-35 fighter jet. Jennifer has done a very good job at earning her spot on that team and I would trust her working anywhere within our facility."
Hood added that Jennifer’s tenacity, grit and courage makes him PPG Proud, and he looks forward to reinstating the jobs training program with Hope Gardens in the near future with hopes of recruiting skilled, and often times overlooked, regional talent.
To learn more about Jennifer’s inspiring story of hope, click here to watch a short video from the URM broadcast series “Stories from Skid Row.”