Compton has earned some of its reputation as an occasionally violent place where gang rivalry is so entrenched that Blood members have stricken the letter C from their vocabulary, less they accidentally bow to their enemies, the Crips.
The nation's rap-fueled image of the city, however, betrays its role as a workaday industrial community that exists along the Alameda transportation corridor, which helps bring billions of dollars of goods to and from the United States via the ports of L.A. and Long Beach. In other words, it's a regional economic powerhouse. Manufacturing and transportation are two of the city's biggest job creators.
True to that, the city this week agreed to enter an agreement to bring a new United Parcel Service package delivery center to the city. UPS is ranked 47th on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies. The deal will bring the center to Building One of the city's 59-acre Brickyard complex at Central and Rosecrans avenues, city officials say. UPS will anchor the Brickyard Commerce Center.
Last year the city embarked on a plan to transform the Brickyard property from a polluted brownfield site to a corporate complex with 525,400 square feet of business and industrial space. The property is the site of the circa-1934 Atkinson Brick Company.
UPS has agreed to ensure that more than one-third of the center's workforce will include Compton residents, officials said. The company also vowed to invest $70 million in the center, through equipment purchases, they said.
“The project will help connect Compton to the billions of dollars flowing annually through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while also creating a best-in-class development on a site that has been underused for decades,” according to a statement from the city.
At the same time, Compton officials have secured a $250,000 seed donation to help train residents for industrial jobs. The program is being launched in collaboration with the Compton Unified School District and the Compton College District “to help ensure that Compton residents are qualified to compete for the new job opportunities,” the city states.
It's not clear when UPS will open its doors; the site is still being developed. But when it does, Compton will be ready.
“UPS coming to Compton provides tangible benefits to residents,” said Mayor Aja Brown. “Along with jobs and the tax revenues, UPS is going to continue its tradition of being a responsible and giving corporate partner. Their investment shows that they believe in Compton.”