Work That Matters

The Undiscovered Key of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Luis Rodriguez

Not many people can say they have stayed loyal to the same job for the last 40 years, but the Locksmith of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Luis Rodriguez can.

The Undiscovered Key of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Luis Rodriguez

Jewelry Maker in Cuba Turned Locksmith

Coming to America from Cuba in 1974, a young Rodriguez learned of a carpentry job at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles through his sister who was working in the Laundry Department at the time. Being only experienced in jewelry-making while in Cuba, Rodriguez knew nothing about carpentry, but he diligently learned the skills and craftsmanship that came with the job.

“Since I began here, I have learned something new every day,” said Rodriguez.

However, much of the CHLA staff now knows Rodriguez as the resident locksmith—another skill he initially knew nothing about. The previous locksmith injured his shoulder and Rodriguez volunteered himself to take his place. He applied his carpentry skills, went to locksmith shows around the country and for the next 40 years proved that he was truly the man for the job.

“I can never quit,” jokes Rodriguez. “Finding someone else for this job is not an easy task. It’s not just about duplicating keys; we need someone who has the skill and knowledge of the trade. "

Un'autonomia anche? La teppisti datazione e mio dithe skill and knowledge of the trade.”

Rodriguez is not only responsible for the lock and key issues in the hospital, but also all of our outpatient clinic centers and off-site offices. “I honestly don’t know how he does it all himself,” says Barbara Cervantes of CHLA Facility Operations. “He is taken away from routine work so often with emergencies, such as someone losing a narcotic key (the only one, of course) or someone who is locked in a room and can’t get out.”

The Undiscovered Key of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Luis Rodriguez
Luis (Back Left) stands with his colleagues in the wood shop of the Facilities Department in 1999.

Loyalty, Friendship and Feelings of Home

With the overwhelming thought of the countless tasks encompassed in Rodriguez’s job, one wonders: Why would anyone stay for so long? His answer is simple, “I’m comfortable here. I have never had a report or incident and the relationships I have with the people I work with are amazing.”

For as long as Rodriguez, the father of four and grandfather to six, has been in Los Angeles, he has remained as a helping hand at Children’s Hospital. As he reminisces about the last 40 years, he harmonizes his thoughts about this city and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, “Together, they are home to me now.”