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Dear Friend:

"Trade-Tech Changes Lives" is an exhibit designed for Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) by the Studio for Southern California History (Studio) in early 2015 and formally unveiled on May 21, 2015. The Studio for Southern California History is a nonprofit organization that works in collaboration with many talented individuals and institutions in order to fulfill our mission to critically chronicle and disseminate the region's social history in order to foster sense of place. For an introduction to the Studio, visit http://www.socalstudio.org/INTRO/. LATTC's rich history provides multiple examples of individuals leading lives committed to creating a community, from different moments in history and from different groups.

LATTC is Los Angeles and Los Angeles is LATTC, as I discovered almost everyone I know who lives in Los Angeles has a connection to this special place.

This website provides detailed information on the exhibit and resources to go further. The original exhibit is on display in the Atrium of Magnolia Hall at LATTC. Be sure to visit the "welcome" provided by President of LATTC, Laurence B. Frank and a tribute from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

As the timeline traces, LATTC was essential in building 20th century Los Angeles and the campus grew to meet the needs of the student population and Los Angeles. The trades and skills taught over different periods also reflect our nation's values and the development of technology.

Finally, students from LATTC have represented global leaders in their respective fields-- from its inception to the present. Moreover, as we learned, LATTC still represents hope and renewal to contemporary generations as beautifully documented in our video, "Trade-Tech Changes Lives."

It was a sincere joy to learn the history of LATTC and its importance to our most vulnerable communities; from Depression era high students who had to support their families; to Japanese American internment victims who used their trade skills while imprisoned; to women preparing to become "Rosie the Riveters" during World War II; to veterans returning from war seeking a place in our society; to students in need of financial support and career training. There are actually too many to mention here and I urged you to read about these efforts on the timeline.

Over time, I learned about the community of workers on this campus who consistently rose to meet the needs of its students. In turn, many of these students have returned to LATTC as staff and continued this legacy.

This unique school spirit was visible in the alumni we interviewed (explore these interviews here) and the people who participated in painting Leo Limon's mural of the school. Leo Limon is an alumnus of LATTC and it was powerful to see generations of students connect in a love of their alma mater. It was exciting and awesome to watch the students from the Sign Painting program paint the seal and school song, and meet Leo Limon. This perhaps is my favorite part of the exhibit because the seal is visible from across the quad and it is a great memory from building the exhibit.

We asked respondents to tell us their favorite places on campus in order to map the layers of memory one site may hold. The love of LATTC was expressed repeatedly by students, faculty and staff who wanted to learn more about what we were installing in Magnolia Hall. Thank you to everyone who cheered on our efforts out of a genuine curiosity to know the history of this venerable institution. Your excitement is contagious and the response we have had from students has been the sweetest reward of this process.

The resources section of this site includes images information that we could not include in the physical exhibit including interviews, photographs and media frome the school. This exhibit is especially indebted to past generations who have carefully preserved the history of this school. For a complete list of the people who assisted us, please see the resources section. I am especially grateful to Dr. Bill Troost, who generously shared his files, and Marva Brooks-Allman, who connected us with alumni to interview and provided joyful advice. Thank you to Elton Robinson for his photographs from the school's hair shows and expressing enthusiasm and wisdom on his visits. Extra special thanks to Mary Gallagher and Daren Lynne for support at LATTC. Thank you to Studio collaborators Valerie Bueno, Satinder Kaur, Leo Limon, Amanda McMullen, Daniella Nowitz, Mark O'Meany and Bobbie Urtez guiding me through this exhibit.

Enjoy!

Sharon

Sharon Sekhon PhD
the Studio for Southern California History
May 11, 2015