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JTM Pre-Apprenticeship Academy trains adults for employment readiness in the construction trades and utility sector.

Our Mission

Our mission at JTM Academy is to empower our students to achieve sustainable careers in the mechanical trades and utility sector. Through strategic partnerships and community engagement, we aim to bridge the gap between education and employment, fostering a skilled workforce and contributing to the economic growth of our community.

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Our Mission

JTM Academy - a partnership with LAUL since 1967

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Our Vision

Our vision is to create a vibrant and diverse workforce built from members of our community that have chosen to pursue a fulfilling career in the mechanical trades and utility sector. We aspire to be a leading force in education, providing innovative programs that not only equip our clients with technical expertise but also instill in them a strong sense of purpose, ethics, and community engagement.

Our History

The original initiative, conceived by our co-founder, Mr. James T. Mitchell, in 1967, was known as the Labor Education Advancement Program (LEAP). LEAP was a collaborative endeavor between the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) and various local construction and building trade unions. Its primary objective was to prepare members of the African American community to successfully pass union entrance exams. Mr. Mitchell, alongside the LAUL, sustained the LEAP program until the early 1980s, positively impacting the lives of several thousand Black Angelinos.


After a hiatus of nearly 30 years, LEAP alumni made the decision to bring Mr. Mitchell out of retirement due to the declining representation of African Americans in the trades. Since its revival in 2014, the program has provided a pathway for our students to enter numerous trades, including sheet metal workers (local 105), electricians (local 11 and 40), pipe-fitters and steamfitters (local 250), glaziers (local 636), carpenters (local 213 and 562), ironworkers (local 733), operating engineers (local 12), roofers, and waterproofers (local 709), SoCalGas, SoCal Edison, LADWP, among others.


Following the passing of Mr. Mitchell in 2019, the organization felt it was appropriate to honor his legacy with a name change: The James T. Mitchell Pre-Apprenticeship Academy. We are dedicated to upholding the vision of the late great James T. Mitchell, an unsung hero, who conceived and implemented an educational system aimed at empowering the Black community.

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