LOS ANGELES, CA – Last week, Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC) hosted its fifth Careers for a Cause (C4C) graduation. Expanded by Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), C4C is an eight-week “earn and learn” program where all participants have lived homelessness experience, justice system involvement, or other experiences of marginalization. Participants are provided with paid training experience that will help them compete for jobs that provide homelessness and other social services.
On Friday, June 3, 27 C4C participants graduated from their training program at LASC. Since C4C was launched in October 2019, the program has celebrated 144 graduates. 36% of previous graduates have already secured employment, with the remaining participants to access ongoing employment services to help them secure a job.
“With over 48,000 Angelinos living without shelter on any given night, it is critical that everyone is part of the solution to this crisis,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Chair, Holly J. Mitchell, representing the Second Supervisorial District. “We started the Careers for a Cause program in South Los Angeles as a way for those with lived experience to find meaningful careers in our County’s homeless services agencies. I am proud to support the Countywide expansion of this groundbreaking program so that we can train and employ our next generation of social services workers throughout Los Angeles County.”
“Meaningfully addressing our housing affordability and homelessness crises for our most vulnerable neighbors requires a skilled and empathetic workforce. C4C does just that,” said Kelly LoBianco, Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development for LA County. “We are proud of this innovative model that values lived experience and builds a talent pipeline for the homelessness and social services sector. I’m grateful for the support and vision of the Board of Supervisors, and we are excited to announce our expansion and scaling of this program throughout LA County.
“I’m so grateful for the C4C program, which has taught me how to turn my personal experience into something that can help people in similar positions,” said Mitchell A. Mitchell A. has lived homelessness experience and is interviewing to become a Case Manager, hoping to engage in outreach and case management for people experiencing homelessness. “I can’t wait to help those who are living on the streets find the support and care that I have found through this program.”
C4C began as a pilot by the Second Supervisorial District. Along with WDACS and its network of America’s Job Centers of California, the LA County Department of Mental Health, Department of Human Relations, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, LASC, and St. Joseph Center collaborated to design, plan, and implement the unique C4C program. The success of the pilot resulted in a recommendation by the County’s Care First/Community Investment (CFCI) Committee to expand Countywide.
With the unanimous support of the Board of Supervisors in July 2021, $2.6 million of American Recovery Plan (ARP) Act funding was allocated to C4C to serve 220 new participants through June 2023. As a result of the ARP funding, C4C is expanding throughout all five Supervisorial Districts in LA County. To date, C4C has already launched at East Los Angeles College, Compton College, and LA Pierce College, as well as community-based organizations for outreach and supportive services including the St. Joseph’s Center, Amity Foundation, and Fathers and Mothers Who Care. Both Compton College and East Los Angeles College will host their first C4C graduations on June 9.
“Los Angeles Southwest College is truly honored to be a part of the Careers For A Cause program because of the life-changing opportunities that it provides all students who complete the program and who have had their entry way cleared to be hired for jobs in the homeless services sector,” said Dr. Seher Awan, Ed. D, President of Los Angeles Southwest College. “We have clearly seen that this program has played a critical role in increasing the workforce for these jobs and has also directly addressed the homelessness issue that our local community is facing.”
For more information regarding the C4C Program, please click here.
CONTACT: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and its Economic and Workforce Development Branch announced the re-opening of its 19 LA County America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) system, the region’s one-stop resource for all employment, training, and business needs. Since March 2020, AJCC services had been offered virtually or by appointment-only. As of today, all AJCCs are now accepting walk-in visitors. Additionally, they continue to offer services virtually or by appointment.
“By enhancing virtual access and providing critical services and resources online, the AJCCs helped keep communities afloat during the pandemic,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “As we re-open the AJCCs to walk-in visitors, today marks an important milestone on our road to an equitable recovery. These multiple entry points represent our commitment to serve everyone in our County.”
“With the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, we are developing and supporting a skilled and diverse workforce ready for competitive careers in high-demand industries,” said Kelly LoBianco, WDACS Executive Director for Economic and Workforce Development. “The re-opening of our AJCCs to walk-in service allows us to shift to a truly hybrid model, providing jobseekers and businesses with a wide range of options to access our services – one step closer to ensuring that our economic recovery is both equitable and inclusive.”
Find your closest AJCC by clicking here. All AJCC services are accessible through this website, by phone at (888) 226-6300, and via email at AJCCJobs@wdacs.lacounty.gov (for job seekers) or BizDev@wdacs.lacounty.gov (for businesses).
AJCCs offer a wide variety of services, including job search assistance, career counseling, and referrals to community resources such as housing. The AJCCs can also pay for job training for workers looking to advance their careers or shift to a new one, including opportunities for both in-class and on-the-job training with paid wages. In addition, residents who need help with rent, utilities, transportation, or work-related expenses if eligible, can receive financial help while searching for a new job or enrolled in job training. All AJCC services are available for LA County residents ages 14 and older, including special programs and initiatives for laid off workers, for probation, CalWORKs and current/former foster youth, for justice-involved individuals, for individuals experiencing homelessness, aging individuals, individuals with disabilities, and more. Businesses can also find skilled workers, information on the labor market, and access free PPE so employees can work safely.
The AJCC system has supported County residents and businesses through the pandemic. Since March 2020, nearly 29,000 people have been placed into paid jobs, and roughly 1,500 businesses were connected to the Employer Assistance Grant Fund, a first-of-its-kind business assistance grant. Additionally, $1.5 million in financial assistance was provided to over 1,000 people, reaching underserved populations including people experiencing homelessness and displaced workers. The AJCCs were instrumental in supporting the fight against COVID-19, placing over 1,200 individuals in paid work initiatives related to contact tracing, meal distribution, temporary housing, and PPE manufacturing.
During the pandemic, WDACS expanded the AJCC’s online presence, which now will serve as a complement to the reopened physical locations. In September 2021, the new AJCC website was launched, providing LA County residents with a central online location to access all AJCC services and resources. Located at ajcc.lacounty.gov, the website enables job seekers and businesses to access AJCC services with an easy-to-navigate design and quick linkages to important information. Other features include a mobile-friendly interface, a digital AJCC locator map, a service request portal, and a Virtual AJCC Resource Room.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced the appointment of Ms. Laura Trejo as Executive Director of Aging and Community Services for the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS).
The appointment of Ms. Trejo is a critical milestone in the Board of Supervisors’ vision to create a new LA County Department of Aging and Community Services by Fall 2022. At that time, LA County will also create a new Department dedicated to economic and workforce development. These two new departments will optimize and align services, ensuring the County is well-positioned to address the economic mobility and security of its residents while meeting the needs of rapidly growing populations of older adults and adults with disabilities.
“I am excited to have Laura Trejo join our County Executive Team and look forward to her strong leadership at the new Department of Aging,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Her years of experience at the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Aging, combined with her wealth of knowledge on issues that most affect older adults, will be instrumental in the County’s efforts to streamline programs and enact meaningful initiatives towards the quality of life advancement for this population which is often forgotten.”
“Dr. Laura Trejo has earned national recognition for leading age friendly policies throughout LA County. We are honored to have her join the County family as the Director of our Aging and Community Services Department,” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “I look forward to working with Laura in providing services that resonate and meet the diverse needs of older and dependent adults in the Second District.”
“Between 2000 and 2030, LA County will see its older adult population double,” said LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “In just 8 years, one in every five County residents will be 65 or older. The County’s new Department of Aging and Community Services is tasked with anticipating and meeting the needs of these County residents. I’m so glad that we found just the right leader, Laura Trejo, who has had decades of experience serving our aging population, and brings an understanding that this new department represents an historic commitment by the County to our ‘silver population’ for generations to come.”
“The County could not ask for a better leader to usher in the new Aging and Disabilities Department,” said Supervisor Hahn who championed the creation of the new department. “In Dr. Laura Trejo, we have someone who already has a long and successful career making a difference in the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. She understands the challenges many families are facing: she grew up in a multigenerational household and, after her grandmother suffered a stroke, Laura helped care and translate for her. This work is personal to Laura. I am looking forward to working with her to create this new and needed department and make LA County a place where our older residents and residents with disabilities can thrive.”
“Laura Trejo will bring a rich experience and background in working on aging policy in Los Angeles to the newly created Aging and Community Services,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Her time leading the Purposeful Aging L.A. initiative has helped prepare Los Angeles County for a growth in older adults in the decades to come.”“I’m excited to work with Laura Trejo to provide caring services to older and dependent adults,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “Under the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, and with our dedicated team and network of partners across the region, together we will build an age-friendly Los Angeles.”
“I look forward to working with the Board of Supervisors, staff and community stakeholders to implement strategies and services that support the independence and dignity of older adults, adults with disabilities and their family caregivers,” said Laura Trejo.
Ms. Trejo will oversee the newly created Aging and Community Services under the WDACS umbrella. This new branch will be responsible for the administration of older adult services, Adult Protective Services, and management of the County’s Community and Senior Centers. As Executive Director, Ms. Trejo will play a central leadership role in the County’s proactive efforts to establish a coordinated strategy and service delivery system for older adults and adults with disabilities.
Ms. Trejo has over 36 years of experience serving the older residents of the County of Los Angeles. Prior to joining LA County, she served as the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Aging. In this capacity, she partnered with the County to establish and lead Purposeful Aging L.A. (PALA), an initiative to make our region the most age-friendly in the world. From 1985 to 2002, Ms. Trejo was the District Chief for the LA County Department of Mental Health where she led Countywide Older Adult Programs. A respected expert and peer-reviewed author on aging, mental health, Alzheimer’s Disease, and rehabilitation, Ms. Trejo brings a wealth of administrative and programmatic experience to LA County.
The appointment of the Executive Director for Aging and Community Services is the latest in a series of key actions the County is taking in response to motions from the Board of Supervisors to create these two new departments. Last month, the County announced Kelly LoBianco as the Executive Director for economic and workforce development.
In June 2021, the County established a team to develop and lead the phased approach to creating these two new departments by Fall 2022. As part of this transition, this team is engaging all impacted departments and County commissions, overseeing resolution of all administrative and funding issues necessary to establish the new departments, and is leading internal and external communications efforts.
Please click here to access the Implementation Team’s most recent report outlining progress to date and next steps.
###Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs email@example.com (opens in a new window)
Today, the County of Los Angeles announced the appointment of Kelly LoBianco as Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development for the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS).
The appointment of Ms. LoBianco is a critical milestone of the Board of Supervisors’ vision to create a new LA County Department of Economic and Workforce Development by Fall 2022. At that time, LA County will also create a new Department dedicated to aging and disabled adults and community services. These new departments will optimize and align services, ensuring the County is well-positioned to address the economic mobility and security of its residents while meeting the needs of rapidly growing populations of older adults and adults with disabilities.
“I am excited to have Kelly LoBianco join our County Executive Team and look forward to her strong leadership at the new Economic and Workforce Development Department,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Her wealth of knowledge and experience in economic and workforce development, which I championed, will be instrumental in the County’s recovery and our pursuit of social advancement and economic equities for all workers, businesses, and communities.”
“I am thrilled at the appointment of Kelly LoBianco to lead our County’s Economic and Workforce Development Department and to help strengthen our efforts for an equitable recovery from this dual public health and economic pandemic,” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “Kelly brings a wealth of direct experience in placing those with the greatest barriers to employment in career pathways with upward mobility and family sustaining wages, as well as developing a supportive ecosystem for our small employers and family-owned businesses. I look forward to working alongside Ms. LoBianco to help actualize a more inclusive Los Angeles County economy for all.”
“The County is establishing a new department to focus on workforce and economic development needs because work is a crucial part of a person’s independence, dignity and sense of purpose,” said LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “We have found the perfect person to serve as the Department’s first leader, Kelly LoBianco, who has dedicated her career to developing the programs and policies we want to see expanded in LA County.”
“As we emerge from this pandemic, we have an opportunity to rebuild our local economy in a way that respects our workers, brings opportunity to communities, and works for everyone,” said Supervisor Hahn. “We need to connect people, not only to training and apprenticeship programs, but directly to good-paying jobs in industries that need workers. The Economic and Workforce Development Department that we are creating, under the new leadership of Kelly LoBianco, is going to be at the center of this important effort.”
“I look forward to Kelly LoBianco serving as Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “This new role will help establish a vision for prosperity and renewed economic development in Los Angeles County.”
“I’m excited to partner with Kelly LoBianco to uplift workers and local businesses so that we can build vibrant, thriving communities,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS.
“Thank you to the Board of Supervisors for entrusting me with the responsibility as the Executive Director for Economic and Workforce Development,” said Kelly LoBianco. “This new department will be uniquely positioned to center equity of opportunity by aligning our economic and workforce development efforts in order to help businesses start and grow, connect workers to quality jobs, strengthen and uplift communities, and expand a dynamic and sustainable local economy. The work will not be easy and the pandemic puts a spotlight on the challenges we face. But I look forward to leading this important work with a skilled and experienced team, in addition to collaborating with leaders across the region, to ensure all workers and businesses in the nation’s largest and most diverse county have everything they need to succeed.”
Ms. LoBianco will oversee the newly created Economic and Workforce Development Branch under the WDACS umbrella. This new branch unites services previously performed by four different agencies within the County, including workforce development, strategic economic development and advocacy, and small business assistance and growth. As Executive Director, Ms. LoBianco will play a central role in the County’s equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. LoBianco has over 15 years of public sector experience at the federal, state, and local levels. Prior to joining LA County, she served as the Chief Program Officer for the HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx in New York City. She previously held executive roles with the New York City Department of Small Business Services, including Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director of Training and Sector Initiatives for the Workforce Development Division.
The appointment of the Executive Director is the latest in a series of key actions the County is taking in response to motions from the Board of Supervisors to create these two new departments.
In June 2021, the County established a team to develop and lead the phased approach to creating these two new departments by Fall 2022. As part of this transition, this team is engaging all impacted departments and County commissions, overseeing resolution of all administrative and funding issues necessary to establish the new departments, and is leading internal and external communications efforts.
Please click here to access the Implementation Team’s most recent report (opens to a new window) outlining progress to date and next steps.
Officials highlight 10,000 COVID-safe jobs for highest need youth
Today, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis (First District Supervisor), along with the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, other County Departments, business partners, and youth participants launched the Summer 2021 Kick-Off of the year-round Youth@Work program. Youth@Work is a regional initiative to prepare underserved youth ages 14-24 for jobs and careers in our local, re-opening economy.
Youth@Work pairs paid work experience for youth with a comprehensive and strategic set of employment, training, and support services provided through the County’s network of America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). Youth@Work focuses on serving those with the highest need, including justice-involved youth, youth experiencing homelessness, foster youth, transition age youth, low-income, LGBTQ+, and CalWORKs youth. As LA County subsidizes participants’ wages, employers also benefit greatly from this program.
For more information about Youth@Work and to complete the interest form, employers and youth should go to workforce.lacounty.gov/youthatwork.
“I was so proud to lead the effort in restoring $15.7 million in one-time funding and identifying long-term funding for Los Angeles County’s Youth@Work jobs program last year when so many young Angelenos were facing difficulty in finding work to assist vulnerable family members impacted by COVID-19,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Investing in our youth and strengthening our jobs safety net is necessary for a full economic recovery. Through this program, our young adults will be able to access the work experiences they need to succeed in life and recover from the pandemic.”
“Youth@Work is needed more than ever as we prepare for an equitable recovery,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “This partnership is a win-win, helping employers expand their capacity with talented young people who are ready to work while providing opportunity youth with gainful employment and experience. I am proud to see this partnership continue.”
“Youth@Work is an exciting on-ramp for our County’s future workforce,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “It offers 120 hours of paid training and work experience for young people looking to learn and grow, and provides our businesses with up to 100 hours of subsidized wages. It’s a win-win for business owners and the young employees they hire!”
“For thousands of young people, this program doesn’t just mean a summer job, it means a foot in the door in businesses and in industries that could become their future careers,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This year, this program is more important than ever while we work to rebuild our post-pandemic economy and make sure that opportunities are available to everyone, including our young people.”
“The Los Angeles County Youth@Work program equips deserving youth with the tools and experience they need to help them succeed in work and in life,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District. “I am grateful to the Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services Department and all our partners who are helping to provide work experience, soft skills training, and career exploration to support our young people. Knowing that so many youth face immense challenges, this is a valuable opportunity to improve their future and change the world.”
“In response to the pandemic, Youth@Work was adapted to create safe, well-paying jobs for traditionally underserved youth and a well-trained workforce for businesses,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of LA County WDACS which manages Youth@Work. “These youth made a real impact and saved lives through food distribution and PPE creation. Moving forward, LA County is re-engaging youth in our reopening economy so that we can build a stronger and more equitable economy for all.”
The Summer 2021 Kick-Off highlighted Youth@Work efforts over the last year to provide training and employment to priority youth in Los Angeles County, and their continued contributions to the recovery of our local economy. These efforts include remote work experience, food distribution, and PPE manufacturing. For example, 163 Youth@Work participants assembled over 100,000 face shields that were donated to local hospitals and other health care providers. In addition, Youth@Work continued to focus on areas of greatest need to LA County residents throughout the pandemic, including combating food insecurity and homelessness: 191 Youth@Work participants worked at local food banks and distribution centers while 48 youth were placed at Project RoomKey.
“We are so grateful for the partnership with LA County Youth@Work to advance employment opportunities for teens in our community,” said Matt Petersen, LACI President and CEO. “We are so proud that the incredible team and facilities at LACI–along with our partners at LA Public Library’s Octavia Labs and so many others–have been able to craft the face shield components, work with the County’s youth employment program to assemble them, and deliver 100,000 face shields to frontline medical workers.”
“I am so grateful for the opportunity that Youth@Work gave me,” said Kevin Palacios, a Youth@Work participant who has worked at the East Los Angeles AJCC and Supervisor Solis’s office. “Engaging with my community with so many likeminded coworkers has been a great learning experience and environment. I’m excited to take all Youth@Work taught me to college and beyond!”
For more information on the PPE Unite program, which provides small businesses and organizations free personal protective gear to keep their staff and customers safe, please go to PPEUnite.org. For more information on the Safer at Work campaign, which boosts awareness of public health measures and provides support to local businesses and workers, please go to SaferatWork.la.
“Thanks to WDACs and other partners, during the current spring season, Youth@Work recruited over 300 youth from across the county and linked them to a job opportunity that provided most of them with their first work experience. Youth@Work helped LA County Parks provide much-needed services to local neighborhoods in our most vulnerable communities,” said Norma Edith García-González, Director of LA County Parks and Recreation. “We are empowering the next generation to make a difference with training, teamwork and mentorship.”
For a video highlighting Youth@Work participants at the Department of Parks and Recreation, please click here.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
Free PPE for over 400,000 employees has served an estimated $5.6 million for local businesses
Today, the County of Los Angeles announced that it has distributed 23 million units of free PPE through its joint effort with PPE Unite to protect 433,000 employees at small businesses across the County. Launched on October 28, 2020, PPE Unite is a regional distribution effort providing free 30-day supplies of PPE to small businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises with 100 employees or less.
To date, PPE Unite has served over 30,000 small businesses and nonprofits, distributing 21.5 million masks, over 400,000 face shields, and over 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer. Over 61% of PPE Unite recipients in L.A. County were minority-owned and 42% were women-owned. PPE Unite has saved these small businesses and organizations an estimated $5.6 million in public health compliance costs. Pop-up PPE Unite distribution events have been strategically targeted to hard-to-reach, COVID-impacted communities across the County. Businesses and nonprofits can still register at for a free supply: PPE Unite Services
“During the peak of the crisis, Los Angeles County stepped in through a motion that I authored to ensure that our small businesses received essential PPE for their workers that safeguarded the health of workers and residents alike,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Thanks to these efforts, the County has continued to safely re-open throughout the course of the pandemic and PPE continues to serve as a pivotal tool in protecting the health of our residents.”
“For over a year our small business community has had to quickly adapt to safety guidelines in order to keep their doors open,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “I am proud of the County’s unprecedented effort to provide free PPE to small businesses with 100 employees or fewer. At a time when the cost of doing business has increased while revenue has decreased, this PPE has provided a vital lifeline to keep our workforce and communities safe.”
“As the pandemic raged last fall, L.A. County really cranked up its PPE distribution to local small businesses,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “More than 21 million masks, 400,000 face shields, and 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer were given out. It was a terribly difficult time, but this massive County PPE distribution effort helped make the point that, even though times were tougher, we had to stretch even further and put in the work to get through this pandemic together.”
“At the height of this crisis it was difficult for many small businesses to access reliable supplies of PPE, let alone afford the extra costs,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “It was important that the County do everything we could to get these lifesaving supplies to businesses that needed them to protect both their workers and their community.”
“Our small businesses have faced so many challenges in this past year, and I’m pleased that L.A. County has been able to partner with PPE Unite to help them provide protective equipment to their customers and staff,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
“Due to the leadership of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, PPE Unite is one of the largest efforts of its kind in the country,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the L.A. County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, also known as WDACS. “I am proud of the WDACS team for providing small businesses with life-saving PPE so that their employees and customers could remain safer while reopening.”
“We started PPE Unite to help employers do their part in flattening the curve and make workplaces safer,” said Tova Mac and Jay Tsao, founders of PPE Unite. “The positive impact on occupational health and overwhelming community response demonstrates how instrumental our effort is to a sustainable re-opening.”
The top demographic groups served by PPE Unite have been Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latinx, African American/Black, and White. The top industries served by PPE Unite have been Health Care & Social Assistance, Restaurants & Hospitality, Personal Care Services, and Educational Services.
“As a startup, PPE Unite saved us a lot of overhead costs at a time when we needed to save money,” said Dr. Franklin Westhout, physician and owner of San Pedro Urgent Care, a black-owned business.
“It was a blessing to receive PPE,” said Sachin Sangani, Administrator of the Wonderland Preschool, a minority and women-owned business in Bellflower. “Because of PPE Unite, we kept our teachers and staff safe so we could care for and teach our young students during this pandemic.”
“We were very desperate to get PPE to protect our staff and customers,” said Levita H. Maghirang, Facilities Administrator of Jasmine’s Home Care, an Asian and woman-owned business in Whittier. “Before PPE Unite, we had to drive many miles to purchase it. But things got easier when PPE Unite came to Whittier – thank you PPE Unite!”
PPE Unite is a public-private partnership that includes L.A. County WDACS, L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), L.A. County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), L.A. County Internal Services Department (ISD), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), the State Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) and the L.A. Small Business Development Center. This program is a result of a June 9, 2020 L.A. County Board motion (pdf)to ensure that the County’s small businesses have access to PPE to keep employees and customers healthy and safe.
Small businesses and nonprofits can still receive a free 30-day supply of PPE by signing up at https://www.ppeunite.org/.
Contact: Kevin Anderson, Special Assistant
COVID’s job losses and business hardships hit economically disadvantaged hardest; recovery plans can address equity issues and create a better life for all
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) released an in-depth report on the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the most viable pathways for recovery for the County’s industries, workers, and communities.For the first time, the report identifies that LA County lost 437,000 jobs in 2020, will have 354,000 fewer living wage jobs in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic economy, and that 738,672 living wage jobs need to be created for the entire LA County workforce to achieve a satisfactory standard of living.
The full 50-page report, entitled “Pathways for Economic Resiliency: Los Angeles County 2021-2026,” may be downloaded here. A shorter 18-page executive summary is available here.
The report was commissioned by WDACS and was drafted by the nonprofit Los AngelesCounty Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). It is designed to inform investment by LA County to restore economic health and address inequalities that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a data-driven foundation for equitable recovery strategies. The report provides recommendations to address the pandemic’s toll on the LA County economy, including strategies to improve equity, retrain workers for well-paying industries, bolster capital and support services for small business, and close education and access gaps that are limiting prosperity and growth.
“This pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, people of color, and households with lower incomes. As a former U.S. Secretary of Labor who worked to bring this nation out of the depths of the Great Recession, I know that the County of Los Angeles’ response to a post-COVID economy must be infused with equity and targeted to help those who are hurting the most,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “For many years, LA County has prioritized equity and helping the most vulnerable populations in our communities. Later today, I am bringing forth a motion to the Board of Supervisors that, if passed, will act quickly to implement many of this report’s recommendations. If approved, the motion will enable LA County to lay a foundation for better jobs and a higher quality of life for all.”
“The LAEDC report on the impact of COVID-19 on our small businesses and workforce reaffirms the need for urgent action, with a focused attention on communities of color and minority and women owned businesses,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “While we continue to protect the health of our communities we must also safely put in place the recommendations shared for workforce development trainings, small business support and strategies for attracting family sustaining jobs in order to create an equitable recovery.”
“In every crisis, we try to find an opportunity,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “LA County has lost a devastating number of jobs, but, in planning our recovery, we can, and should, prioritize investments in small and minority-owned businesses, stabilize workforce housing, develop job training in sectors that we know will continue to grow, expand childcare because it’s so essential for working parents, and move toward providing universal broadband access.”
“Low income workers, people of color, and women have borne the brunt of the economic pain of this pandemic,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “When we rebuild, we must keep them in mind and build a modern economy that works for our workers and that allows families in Los Angeles County to not just get by, but thrive.”
“As Los Angeles County continues to face the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must consider all opportunities to strengthen and improve our economy,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Swift action is needed to help workers, businesses, and organizations navigate the impacts of the public health crisis and ensure we emerge stronger and more resilient than before.”
“The report’s recommendations set a foundation for a 21st Century workforce that is built on equity and living wages,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of LA County WDACS. “COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequities in our society: people of color, women, less educated workers, and those without savings all experienced a harsher impact. Thank you to Supervisor Solis for bringing forward a motion today that charts a path to a brighter, more equitable, and sustainable future for all LA County workers.”
Some of the report’s findings include:
- As of September 2020, employment in LA County was down 9.8% compared to 2019. Of the 716,000 LA County jobs lost in March and April 2020, only 28.7% (213,000) of these jobs had returned by the end of September 2020.
- Unemployment in LA County was largely driven by layoffs in industries not deemed essential, especially those employing lower skilled workers, such as hospitality, retail, and personal care.
- Of those filing for unemployment insurance in California, 65.3% were people of color, 56.9% had an education attainment of high school or lower, and female workers filed for unemployment at a rate that is 6.4% higher than males.
- Younger workers (who generally have the least savings of any age group) had the highest rates of filing for unemployment: 28.1% of young workers ages 25-34 filed for unemployment, compared to rates under 18% for workers over 35.
- The racial wealth gap widened: in California, 37.6% of Black workers, 26.3% of Hispanic workers, and 22% of white workers filed for unemployment during the pandemic. 88% of Black workers with a high school education in California filed for unemployment.
- 20% of communities lack broadband access, most often in communities of color with high unemployment rates.
- From February 2020 to November 2020, it was estimated that over 20,000 Los Angeles County residents became homeless.
- Over 25% of people experiencing homelessness have no prior employment experience; of those who did have employment experience prior to COVID-19, two of their top four employment industries were retail and food service – which were heavily impacted by COVID-19.
- 62% of businesses in LA County have less than two months cash on hand.
- An estimated 15,000+ businesses have already permanently closed because of the pandemic, with tens of thousands of businesses at risk of permanent closure.
The report identifies responses that not only fuel economic recovery, but also address underlying inequity that existed prior to 2020, including the following partial list of recommendations:
- Prioritize training programs and related funding measures (such as Measure J) to put displaced workers on career pathways with strong hiring forecasts, and target growth industries such as healthcare (such as in Supervisorial Districts 1 and 5), construction (such as in Supervisorial Districts 1 and 2), and warehousing/transportation (Supervisorial District 4).
- Develop employer-driven programs at training facilities and/or at community colleges that focus on in-demand skills.
- Investin small and minority-owned businesses with grants, rental assistance, housing vouchers, and transitional housing targeting most impacted populations (such as in Supervisorial Districts 2, 4, and 5) and women-owned businesses (such as in Supervisorial District 3).
- Support businesses that were closed due to the pandemic to re-start their old business or launch a new one with start-up grants and training programs (notably Supervisorial Districts 1, 2, and 4).
- Prioritize access to broadband internet utilizing subsidies and regional infrastructure to improve access to work-from-home jobs and remote learning.
- Expand childcare access through vouchers, provider grants, and new services including transportation, so that more parents from traditionally disadvantaged communities have the option to work and earn income.
- Expand awareness of the Safer at Work LA campaign to help businesses to open with less COVID-19 transmission risk to their staff, patrons, and the community.
- Invest in the expansion and enhancement of an online system to match displaced workers with up-skilling programs and job opportunities.
- Invest in outreach programs with local partners to enroll displaced workers, jobseekers, and potential employers.
- Leverage private sector support and employee hiring subsidies to encourage companies in high growth industries to equitably hire displaced workers.
The report also includes extensive data analysis by LA County Supervisorial District, including: individual industries and their employment trends; well-paying occupations and related hiring, wage and skills profiles; demographics including educational attainment and poverty; concentrations of small business by geography; rent burdens by geography; economic trends by each of the 88 cities and much more.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
Critical funding helped to save an estimated 5,700 jobs and $99.5 million in retained revenue
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced that $46.2 million of federal CARES Act funding has been distributed to more than 1,400 community-based businesses to help retain or hire employees, implement COVID-19-related safety measures, and comply with local health orders. At the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), along with REDF, a venture philanthropy focused on building the employment social enterprise sector, partnered to provide these CARES Act funds to small businesses, social enterprises, B corporations, non-profits, and Community Business Enterprises (CBEs) located in economically disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles County.
“Small local businesses and their employees are dealing with profound uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shuttered economy,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, and Supervisor to the First District. “These businesses anchor our families, contribute to the historical identity to our communities, and invigorate development in every corner of our County. Many have been directly impacted by the economic fallout and have also struggled to gain equal access under federal aid efforts. While we were successful in supporting many small businesses in disadvantaged communities, advocacy around further federal relief is critical in order to alleviate the economic inequalities this sector continues to be confronted with.”
“This funding is critical for small businesses and organizations throughout LA County that have been balancing following COVID-19 guidelines to protect the health of our communities while fighting to keep people employed and their doors open,” said Supervisor Holly Mitchell. “I am thrilled that the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services has been able to expand the reach and impact of the CARES Act. This work cannot be done without Federal funding. We know that $46 million must not be viewed as the ceiling but instead as part of an on-going commitment to protecting local government services, small businesses and non-profits that are the lifelines of our communities.”
“This very welcome announcement demonstrates the County’s ongoing commitment to responsibly helping small businesses during the pandemic,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “My thanks go to the many businesses struggling in my district and across the County. We will continue to push to achieve greater help across the board.”
“Through no fault of their own, these small business owners have been devastated,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “I hope that through these grants we can shore up these businesses, preserve what these small businesses owners have worked so hard to build, and save jobs in our communities.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our County,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “This was an important effort by the Board of Supervisors to make these grants available to help small businesses get through these difficult times.”
“LA County businesses are struggling, but because of the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, we were able to help thousands of small businesses,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “For many, this funding was the difference between staying in business or shutting down. We were able to support more than 1,400 small businesses, with a special focus on those with a social mission. This money went where it could do the most good.”
The businesses that received funding represent a wide variety of products and services, from restaurants to education and childcare to retail.
- More than 1,400 small businesses and non-profit organizations were awarded funding, out of more than 2,400 total applicants. This is a 60% acceptance rate.
- 34% of funding went to businesses or non-profit organizations led by people of color
- A total of $46.2 million was awarded to businesses and non-profit organizations throughout all five Supervisorial Districts in Los Angeles County, helping to avert more than 5,700 layoffs (estimated)
- $33.3 million was awarded to small businesses
- $12.7 million was awarded to social enterprises, B-Corps, and CBEs
“This grant allowed us to deliver meals and groceries to hundreds of seniors, adults with underlying health conditions, and families who have tested positive for COVID,” said Becky Teter, Executive Minister of 5,000 Pies. “This grant has been a blessing for us, not only to keep operating and our workers employed, but to also care for those in need. Amidst worldwide struggle against this virus, being able to continue making food with love has provided joy to many in our community.”
“We worked hard to transparently and equitably support businesses during the application process,” said Greg Ericksen, Associate Director, Regional Partnerships for REDF. “This included establishing a County hotline with live staff members to help navigate the application process and requirements, recorded training videos, hosting an educational webinar for potential applicants, and creating a dedicated webpage with the resources and information needed to apply.”
WDACS, in partnership with REDF, established three grant opportunities to provide economic recovery support to small businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, and their employees. Funding was granted for the following three categories:
- Pandemic Relief Funds (Up to $5,000) to help businesses offset costs related to compliance with local health orders and recommended safety measures.
- General Employer Assistance Grants (Up to $30,000) to help support all Los Angeles County businesses impacted by COVID-19 for a variety of eligible uses.
- Social Impact Grant Funds (Up to $60,000) to help Social Enterprises and Social Community Business Enterprises (CBEs), which includes designations for Woman Business Enterprises (WBE), Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), or a certified B Corporation.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
LOS ANGELES, CA –Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), along with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), announced the launch of Safer at Work LA campaign. Safer at Work LA is a creative new countywide initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at worksites/businesses by keeping everyone safer while at work, including essential workers who remain at work despite the pandemic.
Safer at Work LA builds a shared responsibility approach between businesses, employees, customers, and their communities to keep one another as safe as possible during the challenging months ahead. Through this campaign, the County is giving small businesses, micro enterprises and essential businesses along with their workers information on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, emphasizing that LA County respects and protects its essential workers. So far, 59 cities, 8 business chambers, and 61 businesses have agreed to champion the Safer at Work campaign. For more information about Safer at Work LA, please visit Saferatwork.LA.
“Our essential workers, by definition, are integral to the functioning of our healthcare system, food supply chain, government operations and much more. Keeping them safe is more important now than ever before,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The Safer at Work LA campaign is a critical reminder that worksites and businesses, as well as customers and employees, must collectively work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.”
“All over the County we are seeing an astounding rise in case numbers. The Safer at Work program fosters mutual responsibility by providing businesses with the support they need to maintain safe workplaces,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Every single one of us – customers, employees, business owners, community members – has an obligation to make sure that those on the front line are protected. My special thanks go out to the 59 cities, 8 business chambers, and 61 businesses that have stepped up and pledged to keep everyone safe through the Safer at Work campaign. ”
“This latest surge is dangerous. We must do everything we can to keep essential businesses as safe as possible – for employees and customers alike,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Through Safer at Work, we are giving essential businesses the tools they need to not only keep their doors open, but also be our partners in the fight against this virus.”
“Everyone has a shared responsibility to protect one another and our local economy,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The County is working to support essential businesses, essential workers, and the customers that rely on them, throughout this pandemic by providing easily accessible tools and resources.”
“Every day we work with LA County businesses to overcome the struggles they have encountered through this pandemic,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “For essential workers who have to be at work, being Safer at Work is essential. The Safer at Work campaign is just one of our efforts to make it easier for employers and employees to understand their responsibilities to remain healthy and safe from COVID-19. Safer at Work encourages employers to implement COVID-compliant best practices, gives essential workers the tools they need to maintain a safe workplace, and invites customers to do their part to help rebuild our local economy.”
“Thousands of small businesses have told us their dreams and life savings are on the line, as are the health of their employees and customers without whom there is no future for their enterprises, so they want all of us to be in the fight to preserve the health and safety of everyone in the workplace,” said LAEDC CEO Bill Allen. “We have the messages and tools to kick off this campaign, and we are asking every employer and every Angeleno to adopt and support this campaign and truly keep each other safer at work.”
Small businesses provide the majority of jobs in the United States. Unfortunately, according to recent surveys, a high percentage of small businesses do not expect to survive through the pandemic. LA County has already lost thousands of lives, approximately 15,000 small businesses have experienced closure, and hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs to COVID-19. However, in addition to the recent Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s restrictions, we know that wearing a mask, washing our hands, and practicing social distancing keeps us safer at work.
Safer at Work LA utilizes a three-prong approach to support employers, employees, and customers:
- Safer at Work LA provides employers with the information and resources they need in order to create a safer work environment.
- Safer at Work LA provides employees with the information and resources they need to protect themselves, their co-workers and customers.
- Safer at Work LA provides customers with clear and friendly directions on how to be safer patrons at our diverse businesses. All patrons will be encouraged to follow easy best practices while shopping local businesses.
Utilizing materials from the campaign, Safer at Work LA will also rely on trusted community members to use their social networks to drive a community level approach that hinges on all of our shared responsibility during this pandemic. With this community support, creative public art inspired by the rich tradition of historic Los Angeles sign-making will be visible in local neighborhoods to encourage all of us to do our part.
The Safer at Work LA initiative’s toolkit of support for small businesses includes:
- A robust hub of multilingual communication tools, accessible at SaferAtWork.LA, for local businesses to download, print, or order to share accurate, easy-to-understand COVID safety communications with employees, customers, community members, and others
- Digital assets designed to take advantage of all platforms, including digital billboards, social media, local radio and TV spots, and more
- Creative earned media through public art interventions (e.g., wild postings, murals, chalk art, etc.) that focus on unique industries and communities, and reinforce our shared responsibility to keep each other safe, especially at work
- Multilingual small business assistance training webinars and one-on-one consulting offered by LAEDC for small businesses experiencing pandemic-related challenges
- Resources can be accessed on the campaign’s website, SaferAtWork.LA, as well as the Los Angeles County Disaster Center helpline (1-833-877-8008). Businesses in need of consulting are encouraged to contact LAEDC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we will keep everyone in LA Safer at Work.
For up-to-date news and resources, please visit LA County’s COVID-19 website by clicking here.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
Unique partnership launches new electric bus manufacturing training program and union contract
LOS ANGELES, CA – On the heels of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landmark commitment to zero-emission transportation, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), Proterra, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 675, Jobs to Move America, and Citrus College marked ‘Manufacturing Day’ today by announcing historic investments into the development of a high-quality, highly skilled, electric bus manufacturing workforce.
The investments include a first-of-its-kind workforce training program in advanced electric bus manufacturing, and Proterra and USW Local 675’s first Collective Bargaining Agreement, ensuring worker voice and representation remain central to the long-term health and success of the company.
“Creating sustainable communities starts with education that leads to a well-paying career,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I am pleased that Citrus College, located in the Fifth District, collaborated with the private sector to train our workforce to fill modern, high-tech jobs that are desperately needed. This partnership between the public, private, education, and labor sectors is a model for success and a livable future.”
“Clean economy jobs are good jobs, and I will work to make sure our underrepresented communities are primed for these well-paying employment opportunities,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Chair Pro Tem. “As a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, I am proud to develop local programs that train all members of LA County’s workforce to tap into the clean energy economy. Our worker-centered efforts will put LA County back in the driver’s seat to growing a stronger, more inclusive middle class.”
“The impacts of climate change are unrelenting and undisputable,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “As we heed the call to transition to cleaner and greener vehicles in order to reduce our carbon footprint, we have an opportunity to promote environmental and economic sustainability for our workforce who should be well-prepared to build such vehicles. The Electric Bus Manufacturing Technology training program meets this challenge by preparing our most vulnerable residents with the skills needed to thrive in a green economy. I applaud this diverse coalition that has come together to make sure that is the case.”
“This model partnership will help achieve multiple high-priority goals,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “It supports the growth of the County’s green infrastructure and the region’s manufacturing sector, while simultaneously providing training and quality job opportunities to disadvantaged workers. I am delighted to see economic opportunity and forward-thinking environmental policy go hand-in-hand.”
“We don’t have to choose between good jobs and clean air. We can and should have both,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This training program, in partnership with organized labor, ensures that we are not only investing in the zero-emissions vehicles of the future, we are investing in the good-paying jobs our communities need.”
“These agreements represent the future of the LA County workforce,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of LA County WDACS. “We have brought all partners to the table – public, private, labor, education – to create good-paying careers for traditionally underrepresented workers. In line with the Governor’s actions and the direction of the Board of Supervisors, LA County is building the technology and the workforce needed for a sustainable future.”
The Electric Bus Manufacturing Technology training program, which welcomes its first cohort of students on October 9, was developed to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and job quality in the green manufacturing sector by targeting historically underrepresented groups with barriers to employment. The customized, nine-week training program taught by Citrus College was designed in partnership with production and assembly management at Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, and will help fill union jobs manufacturing battery-electric buses at Proterra’s City of Industry facility.
“Electric vehicle technology is an opportunity to strengthen American manufacturing and create good paying, skilled jobs for Californians,” said Jack Allen, Proterra CEO and Chairman. “Proterra is proud to partner with Los Angeles County and Citrus College to invest in vital workforce development and training. We are excited to support the creation of more job opportunities in electric vehicle technology manufacturing through this innovative program and partnerships.”
“The USW is proud of the work that we did to come to this agreement with Proterra,” said Maria Somma, the Organizing Director for USW International Union. “This new contract increases wages and benefits and provides workers a voice on the job. We are excited to be a part of manufacturing clean energy technology while working together with Proterra to create a safe, healthy and prosperous future.”
“Citrus College is excited to be a part of this new training program,” said Michael Wangler, Dean of Career, Technical and Continuing Education at Citrus College. “Our automotive and diesel faculty were eager to help build this customized curriculum that will benefit the community, the environment and the local economy.”
Proterra and USW Local 675 also announced the signing of their first collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement sets clear requirements on how workers’ voices will inform the development of training programs, working conditions, safety, and other important factors affecting working conditions. In 2019, Proterra signed Los Angeles County’s Fair Chance Pledge to incorporate Fair Chance hiring practices into the company’s recruitment process and promote the full participation of justice-involved individuals in our economy.
“Making workers and communities true partners in the transition to zero-emissions transit is a way to ensure that the growing clean economy does not leave behind working families from earning high, family-sustaining wages in a safe work environment with high labor standards,” said Héctor Martin Huezo, Senior Workforce Equity Coordinator at Jobs to Move America. “As more cities and states electrify bus fleets and take action to combat climate change, our coalition is working tirelessly to make sure that every single public dollar we invest in state-of-the-art electric buses creates good jobs, real benefits and training opportunities, like this one with WDACS, for communities who need access to good jobs and training.”
This partnership will further help Los Angeles County reach the goals outlined in its Sustainability Plan, as well as the recent Board of Supervisors’ motion for High Road Training Partnerships between industry, labor, community, and local colleges.
For the latest information on how the County is assisting businesses and building a Green LA County for All, please follow @LACBizDev on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If your business is interested in partnering with the County on a customized training program, please e-mail LACBizDev@wdacs.lacounty.gov.
Director of Public Affairs
New Workforce Partnership with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Addresses PPE Shortage and Youth Unemployment During Historic Pandemic
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), in partnership with Goodwill Southern California and the City of Baldwin Park, launched an innovative collaboration with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to essential healthcare workers. This partnership began on August 24, 2020. Through Los Angeles County’s Youth@Work Program, youth aged 14 – 24 assemble face shields.
Face shield materials are created with high tech 3D printers, assembled by youth workers, then donated to hospitals across LA County. Over 10,000 reusable face shields have been distributed to date, with another 20,000 expected through this program. To accompany shield production, LACI has designed an educational series introducing youth to career opportunities in cleantech, including project management, industrial manufacturing and industrial design.
Youth@Work places LA County youth in a paid job that leads to a long-term career pathway in high-growth in-demand industries. LACI unlocks innovation through startups, transforms markets with partnerships, and enhances community to create an inclusive green economy. This program is part of the LA County Works Initiative to train our workforce to get back to full employment.
“This partnership helps to address PPE shortage and youth unemployment” said Otto Solórzano, the Acting Director of WDACS. “We are helping healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing youth for jobs in the green economy.”
“When the pandemic hit we knew that LACI had to play a key role in helping our city,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “Our advanced prototyping center has produced tens of thousands of face shields for essential workers while at the same time continuing to train LA’s future workforce. This work has been crucial to LACI’s mission and we are grateful to our partners for making this happen together.”
“I like knowing that the face shields are going to healthcare workers that really need them,” said Julieta G., a Youth@Work participant. “It’s really rewarding knowing what we’re making them for.”
“The City of Baldwin Park is proud to be part of this collaborative effort to employ local youth during the pandemic to manufacture personal protective equipment to essential healthcare workers,” said Mayor Manuel Lozano of Baldwin Park.
For the latest information on how LA County is assisting businesses and building a Green LA County for All, follow us at @LACBizDev on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If your business is interested in partnering with the County on a workforce program, e-mail us at BizDev@wdacs.lacounty.gov.
Director of Public Affairs
Initiative will provide three meals per day to older adults while supporting local workers and stimulating the local economy
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced participation in the State of California’s ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative. With the support of the Board of Supervisors and with a partnership between the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and the Office of Emergency Management, LA County will provide three home-delivered meals a day to qualifying older adults and adults over 60 who are high-risk as determined by the CDC, while also stimulating the economy by bringing employees back to work from the restaurant, hospitality, and transportation industries.
Individual participants may apply for ‘Great Plates Delivered’ by calling 2-1-1. To be eligible for participation, individuals must meet requirements that includes age, inability to prepare or obtain meals, and are not currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs. Click here for a full list of requirements.
Restaurants interested in participating in the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ program should fill out an interest form by clicking here. Food providers will be selected based on factors that include their ability to meet volume and nutritional standards, and prioritize local jobs, worker retention, worker health and safety, and standards of equity and fairness in employment practices. The County is finalizing additional criteria which will be posted on this webpage in the days ahead.
LA County is launching the first phase of ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative with a partnership with UNITE HERE Local 11’s Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) as WDACS continues to work to expand the program with partnerships with local restaurants. HTA offers the only hospitality/food service training program in California that focuses on union employment, providing participants with an opportunity to secure career pathways with good wages and benefits. HTA will utilize its network of hotels and commercial kitchens to provide three meals a day to 1,500 individuals across the County.
The County will also partner with restaurants/food service providers, including small neighborhood food establishments, to provide meals through the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ program. To the extent possible, the County will assign participants to restaurants located in the same city or neighborhood.
“L.A. County is proud to partner with hospitality workers, restaurants, and cities to implement this innovative program to provide meals for seniors who are most in need,” Supervisor Barger said. “This collaborative effort bolsters local business, supports the regional economy, and ensures the well-being and care of at-risk seniors. This act of unity and creativity, which benefits so many in our community, is a win-win.”
“The Great Plates Delivered program will allow us to expand the capacity of our current senior meals programming so that low-income older adults with health conditions could more easily adhere to physical distancing and infection control protocols,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “This program will also provide an economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to keep their doors open, so this is a win-win for all of us.”
“Since the inception of this pandemic, our elderly population has been the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted community by COVID-19,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This program will not only allow seniors to get the nutrition they need while at home, but will provide employment opportunities for union workers who need it the most.”
“With the speed of a great short order cook, the County has launched the Great Plates Delivered program,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Eligible County seniors will now be able to get three square meals a day and the program will help keep our local restaurants in business as well. My deep thanks to the state, county leaders and our local food partners for getting this program up and running in a flash.”
“Through ‘Great Plates Delivered’, we will deliver meals straight to people who need to stay in their homes while also providing business to local restaurants that are struggling,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Even though we are starting a phased reopening, the virus remains a serious health threat and we need to make sure people at higher risk can stay home.”
“This innovative program creates jobs for union and restaurant workers to craft nutritious meals and deliver them to older adults,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. “This is part of our continued effort to maximize the impact of every taxpayer dollar. We are creating jobs and combating hunger at the same time.”
Cities also have the option of implementing their own ‘Great Plates Delivered’ programs. As of now, the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Bell Gardens and La Puente plan to implement local programs. Click here for a full list of participating counties and cities. LA County will implement
‘Great Plates Delivered’ in all cities and unincorporated areas in LA County that do not have their own locally operated programs. ‘Great Plates Delivered’ is jointly funded by FEMA (75% match), the State (18.75%), and local jurisdictions (6.25%). Per FEMA, the program will run until June 10, 2020. It is anticipated that the State will seek two additional 30-day extensions from FEMA which, if approved, would extend ‘Great Plates Delivered’ to as late as August 10, 2020.
For more information about the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative in LA County, please click here. This webpage will be updated with new information as this new program is rolled out.