The Malibu Community Labor Exchange relocates its trailer and receives a restroom facility

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The Malibu Labor Exchange Center Secretary Robert Thomason and Director Oscar Mondragόn stand near the new MCLE facility that sits behind the Santa Monica College on Saturday, March 4. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

The City of Malibu, LA County, and SMC worked together to support MCLE 

The Malibu Community Labor Exchange recently relocated its office trailer to the northwest corner of the new Santa Monica College (SMC) Malibu campus parking lot on Civic Center Way during the campus construction. 

The city received Community Development Block Grants funds to rent a temporary office trailer and restroom trailer for the Labor Exchange’s use. The city, the Labor Exchange, LA County and SMC are working together to set up a permanent office and restroom facility for the Labor Exchange directly to the north of the current site. 

The MCLE has been working with the city to develop permanent and temporary solutions for its continued operations on the county property once the Santa Monica College Malibu Campus Project is complete. Funding for this permit was not included in the Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. Waiving the permit fees will result in a loss of revenue of $3,784 for Fiscal Year 2022-2023.

During the City Council meeting on Nov. 28, the council approved the request from the Malibu Community Labor Exchange to waive the fees for the Conditional Use Permit application to operate a day labor program on the County property on Civic Center Way.

MCLE Director Oscar Mondragόn thanked the City of Malibu for its support. 

“It feels great; we appreciate the city’s help with the facilities here, [and] the college (Santa Monica Satellite) has been fantastic,” Mondragόn said. “We really appreciate the whole City of Malibu to help us, we’re so grateful for everyone and we want people to come hire our workers.” 

“This is a place where people come looking for work, they can adapt to the new location, we want us to keep that same relationship with hires, come and hire our workers, that’s what makes us happy.”

For more than 30 years, the Labor Exchange, a community-created nonprofit organization, has provided an organized and supportive place for the people of Malibu to hire and be hired, creating opportunities for the unemployed to build independence and self-sufficiency through work. 

MCLE Center Secretary Robert Thomason said the facility is much nicer and more formal.

“We are a resource, and that’s the key; we’re just a vehicle with people finding jobs and for people to find workers,” Thomason said. “Plus, we’re establishing some connections with the college, and hopefully, it’ll expand in the future. So we’re looking forward to maybe the next 30 years.”

Established in 1993, the Labor Exchange is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, including how to register for jobs or to hire workers, visit malibucommunitylaborexchange.org.