Creating a “Culture of Caring” at the Los Angeles Job Corps Center: Part II

Last week, we took you to the Los Angeles Job Corps Center where staff and leaders briefly shared their thoughts about MTC’s relatively new program designed to improve staff culture.

“MTC is really setting up a process for making sure that we show our employees how much we care, not only once they’ve arrived but even before they arrive,” says Center Director Tom Fitzwater.

Culture Still
Job Corps staff.

The process is embodied in the MTC “Culture of Caring” program. You can learn more about it on the employee website. Click on “Support Departments”, “Employee Experience”, and “Culture of Caring”. It’s right there at the top in either a flipbook or a PDF format.

“There’s little activities, whether it’s the welcoming process that sometimes you may forget how important that is to staff, to take them around,” Tom continues.

The program is directed primarily to supervisors, encouraging them to take small steps to welcome, train, support, and praise their employees.

“And just make sure we’re doing all those things, that we know are good things, and we structure it so the staff member who is a supervisor or manager, make sure they do all those things,” explains Tom.

Tom has been in Job Corps for more than 40 years. He’s been around and knows a “Culture of Caring” is vital.

“Studies have shown that staff members will stay with a job if they feel comfortable or respected by their supervisor or manager, their direct supervisor,” he says. “So, I think the ‘Culture of Caring’ really kind of focuses on that attention between the supervisor, manager, and that new employee.”

Culture Still
Tom Fitzwater, center director.

What do Tom’s employees think about the “Culture of Caring” program?


Carmen Avelar, LA Job Corps Employee

“We have to like where we’re at, and our heart has to be in what we’re doing. In order to do that, we need to feel appreciated. And we need to feel like they care about us and our well-being.”


Bella Awed, LA Job Corps Employee

“I feel that they do care. We wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be doing such a good job as employees if we didn’t feel like the company was giving us so much back.”


Estuardo Mayorga, LA Job Corps Employee

“The ‘Culture of Caring’ program at LA is actually helping everyone out.”


How do we know if the program is making a difference? Well, we ask new employees throughout the year.

“What I like about the ‘Culture of Caring’ program is the follow-up that we give to staff,” Tom explains. “They do a monthly survey, a three-month survey, a six-month survey and getting that feedback [really helps].”