On October 24, 2016 the YouthBuild Charter School of California, in partnership with the Greater Los Angeles Region YouthBuild programs, gathered over seven (7) local YouthBuild programs, more than 100 youth from diverse neighborhoods across the County, Community and Senior Services (CSS) and a few Los Angeles County America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) at their Compton Campus to conduct a Regional Training for youth and streamline co-enrollment in to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth program. YouthBuild is a premiere national pre-apprenticeship model that is full aligned with WIOA’s vision to train, prepare, and help employ the next generation talent pool.
The event was spearheaded by Rossi Johnson, Executive Director of YouthBuild Charter School of California and hosted by the Compton YouthBuild location. CSS involvement included coordination of the AJCCs to attend the event and pair up existing YouthBuild youth with our AJCCs, and Anahit Damlamanyan, Youth Projects Lead, oriented the youth on the myriad of services offered through WIOA. Participating AJCC agencies included: East Los Angeles AJCC (through the Archdiocesan Youth Employment), Huntington Park AJCC (through the Hub Cities Consortium) and the Compton AJCC (through the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles).
WIOA services are available to youth that are currently enrolled in the YouthBuild program. Los Angeles County is taking every advantage under the new WIOA legislation, which clearly identifies YouthBuild as an optimal partner to maximize opportunities and the quality of services for youth by leveraging resources. Leveraged resources may include but are not limited to: career planning, paid work experience, training and education services, and supportive services that range from clothing or transportation to tools and child care.
It was important for the youth participants to understand the services provided under WIOA that could support their career path in the trades. For this reason it was a main goal of the event to expedite and streamline the enrollment process at the event. The participants were prepared ahead of time with coordination from CSS and YouthBuild to attend the event prepared with all related documents.
Through an interactive presentation, Ms. Damlamanyan engaged the students with information regarding potential services. Many YouthBuild participants were more than eager to sign up for WIOA services as most were not aware that this type of assistance was available to them. CSS staff including Barbara Banck, Project Supervisor and Felipe Moscoso, Management Fellow were hands-on during the event answering questions and guiding the youth. One of the most popular services that really generated a lot of interest from youth was the transportation assistance that provides allowances to participants to travel to and from training.
This extremely successful event serves as a best-practices model that provides a more meaningful approach to engage and connect youth to opportunities and resources. By the end of the day over 40 participants either enrolled or started the enrollment process into WIOA. An additional 40 youth in the Antelope Valley Area will undergo a similar process by the end of October. The last highlight of the day was the delicious food which was catered by the YouthBuild Compton culinary academy. Attendees left empowered with food for the body and food for the soul.