Webcor Hires Graduate From Local Workforce Development Partner

Webcor's partnership with Fortitude has culminated in hiring Luichi Pool as a drywall stocker scraper, making him Webcor's first hire from the program.

June 5, 2023


When Luichi Pool learned about Fortitude, a Peninsula-based nonprofit offering free training to young adults pursuing careers in the trades, he knew he’d just been connected to the potential opportunity of a lifetime. As a high school senior seeking alternatives to the traditional four-year college route, he was eager to graduate and pursue full-time work so he could start building a lucrative career and financially secure future for himself. All he needed was the right opportunity—an opportunity that would equip him with the proper training and experience to help position him for success. Immediately, he recognized the Fortitude program as the prime opportunity that it was and the impact it could have on his career trajectory. He knew he couldn’t waste this chance.  

“Before joining Fortitude, I worked in drywall for six months while attending Thornton High School in Daly City,” Luichi says. “Construction has always interested me. Every day, I leave the job site knowing something I hadn’t when the work day started.”

Since December 2020, Webcor’s worked closely with Fortitude’s co-founders to organize engaging workshops for the nonprofit’s young adult participants—typically high school students seeking practical alternatives to college enrollment. These workshops, known as Exploring Construction Careers (ECC) workshops, were designed to give Fortitude students an initial glimpse of life in the construction industry through in-depth job site tours and presentations from experienced construction professionals. In the last year, Bay Meadows Stations 1 & 5,  Genesis Marina, and Tidal House have hosted several ECCs at their job sites. Project Director Ted Williams, who discovered Fortitude while researching local volunteer opportunities for the Bay Meadows team, connected all three projects to Fortitude’s ECC opportunities.

Just over two years later, our partnership efforts with Fortitude culminated in hiring Luichi as a drywall stocker scraper on Genesis Marina in Brisbane, making him Webcor’s first official hire out of the Fortitude program.

“Luichi is constantly learning,” says Sr. Superintendent John McElwain, Luichi’s manager. “He’s learned about the tools, equipment, and materials we use in the field and how to properly use them. He’s never hesitant about working hard—he has a great attitude and works well with others. The other workers in the field have greatly enjoyed working with him as well.”

The feedback on Luichi doesn’t surprise Ted, who met Luichi during his early days with Fortitude. After discussing the cohort of students with Fortitude leadership, he learned that Luichi not only took a long bus ride to class every day but had made a habit of sweeping and tidying up the classroom before the rest of his classmates arrived. After class, he would take the bus back to Daly City from the San Mateo Event Center, where the trainings were held throughout the summer.

“In addition to his commitment to Fortitude and his strong work ethic, Luichi demonstrated a genuine passion for Webcor from the start,” Ted recalls, “When I met him, he had a list of prepared questions about the company that he was excited to discuss with me. It’s powerful to know that programs like Fortitude create opportunities to completely alter the trajectory of someone’s life—someone who otherwise wouldn’t have access to these types of career-building opportunities. Engaging with the communities in which we build like this is incredibly fulfilling, in addition to being a Webcor core value.”

Although Luichi graduated from Fortitude with countless impactful experiences and lessons learned, the most valuable one centered on respect—both for himself and those around him, he shares. That list of lessons has continued to grow at Genesis Marina, though at a far more rapid pace.

“I’ve learned to always be aware of my surroundings and memorize all the small details that go into the work we do,” he says. “Although my career in construction is just getting started, I’ve already gained a lot of memories that I’ll carry with me forever, especially those that involve working with my colleagues.”

John commends Webcor for prioritizing community as a core value and supporting local workforce development. “Partnerships with local nonprofits like Fortitude give people a chance to start a productive, lifelong career,” he says. “They also give Webcor the opportunity to employ residents of the communities in which we build.”

Call for Fortitude Volunteers

Fortitude is currently seeking volunteers to support this summer’s Build Program at the San Mateo Event Center. The Build Program’s Life Mastery Curriculum offers career services and training on emotional intelligence, leadership, and financial literacy, and its Construction Curriculum educates participants on technological innovation, pre-apprenticeship and job readiness hands-on skills, construction trades-related math, and construction trades-related history. Build Program participants also earn their OSHA 10, fork lift, boom lift, scissor lift, traffic flagger, and Hilti tool certifications during the program.

“Our society and current education system have not done a good job of encouraging students to pursue careers in the trades,” Ted says. “Nonprofits such as Fortitude, which are dedicated to educating young adults about our industry’s various meaningful and fulfilling career paths, fill that void. Furthermore, these organizations strengthen the diversity of our workforce by targeting communities of people who likely haven’t yet been exposed to these opportunities or have faced barriers to entry in the past. It’s imperative that we continue to champion these types of local workforce development programs and do our part to support our communities.”

ECC at Bay Meadows, March 2022