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EDISON TURNS TO COMMUNITY COMPANIES IN REBUILDING

 ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Larry Sims knows firsthand of Southern California Edison's commitment to the South Central community. His firm is one of two minority companies that served as general contractors on the refurbishing of Edison's Job Training Center in Compton, Calif.
 "I was really surprised that someone was putting so much financial effort into the community," Sims said. "This is a very special project."
 Sims' firm, 333 Construction of Compton, and Curtom Building and Development Corp. of Inglewood, Calif., recently wrapped up the extensive refurbishing on the Job Training Center, 700 N. Bullis Rd.
 The 38,000 square-foot center donated by Edison will be operated by a non-profit board that will oversee the day-to-day training activities. To ensure the continued vitality of the center, Edison has pledged an additional $400,000 a year in cash and services for the next five years for upkeep.
 "That really impressed me," said Sims' daughter, Apryl Sims- Jordan. "When so many people are pulling out of the community, Edison is willing to contribute for the next five years."
 Despite the recent spate of rainstorms, Sims kept to the construction schedule by putting his crews to work on weekends.
 Because Edison wanted to maximize the impact of its community investment, Edison Supervisor John Corona said he initially picked contractors by leafing through the phone book. Corona estimated that 60 percent to 70 percent of the construction work went to local contractors, to keep the construction dollars in the community.
 In cases where the contractors came from outside the area, Edison required the firms to add unemployed regional residents to their crews where practical. Some of those employees received permanent jobs when their work on the Edison project ended.
 Brenda J. Curry, owner of Curtom, said she was impressed with Edison's use of minority contractors. "There are a lot of contracts where that's supposed to happen but practically that often gets lost in the shuffle," she said. "It takes some sensitivity to do that."
 For Compton, the job center means that the community's retraining efforts are receiving a significant boost. "The city doesn't have this kind of money," said Vera Blanche Dorcey, director of the Compton Department of Employment and Training Services.
 Dorcey, whose department is relocating to the center, said she hopes the center will become the hub for regional retraining.
 Dorcey said Edison's efforts "have just been outstanding. There will never be enough thanks we can give to Edison."
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Ed Van Herik of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255/


CO: Southern California Edison ST: California IN: SU:

MS-BP -- LA022 -- 9450 02/23/93 13:24 EST
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Date:Feb 23, 1993
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