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TEEN ARTISTS SKETCH OUT THE FUTURE THEY'D LIKE TO SEE

 ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A handful of teen-age artists are turning the facade of the Job Training Center at Compton, once used by gangs for target practice, into a symbol of the community's ethnic harmony.
 "We used to pass by, it always looked raggedy," said Compton High student Josue Galvez. "At least there can be something to make it look better." Under the direction of Compton High counselor Wes Hall, a team of African-American, Samoan, Latino, Anglo and Asian teen-agers have remade the front of the refurbished service center.
 The Job Training Center at Compton, 700 N. Bullis Road in Compton, is part of Southern California Edison's effort to revitalize areas affected by last April's civil unrest. The renovated $6 million center will house 13 classrooms designed to train more than 1,000 unemployed area workers per year for a variety of careers.
 The center and the surrounding land will be operated by a non- profit board, which will oversee the day-to-day training. Edison will also be providing $400,000 a year in cash and services for the next five years for the center's upkeep.
 Hall said the front mural will focus on the harmony of the diverse ethnic and age groups that make up the regional population.
 For Galvez, working on the team project makes a statement about his community's needs.
 "Basically, it's for everyone to get along," the 17-year-old student said about the mural on the building's facade. "Even as different as we are, we're all working together, no problems."
 Dion Evans, an 18-year-old graduate of Compton High, said that helping with a community project like painting the job center keeps his life on a productive path. "It keeps me involved. I don't have to worry about joining gangs," Evans said. "If I were hanging out, there's no telling what I might get involved in."
 Evans also said the center can serve as a tangible symbol of opportunity for out-of-work regional residents.
 "We need things like this. After the riots, a lot of people felt there were no jobs, no hope," Evans said while working on the building. "Now maybe there will be some hope."
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Ed Van Herik of Southern California, 818-302-2255/


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

KJ -- LA021 -- 9433 02/23/93 12:53 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 23, 1993
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