Today, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) released a special report on anti-Asian hate crime in LA County in 2020. Since 1980, LACCHR collects and reports hate crime data submitted by law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. Today’s special report revealed that anti-Asian hate crimes rose 76% from 25 to 44 in 2020. This is the largest number of anti-Asian hate crimes reported since 2001.

To view the 2020 anti-Asian Hate Crime Report, please click here. LA County’s annual Hate Crime Report, which will encompass all reported hate crimes in LA County, will be released in November.

“While I am proud of our innovative LA vs. Hate campaign, the 2020 anti-Asian Hate Crime Report shows that we have much more work to do,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “The First District is home to many residents of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. It is disturbing that our AAPI communities continue to be targeted and discriminated against. We must ensure that Los Angeles County is truly a place where everyone can be who they are without fear.

“It is troubling to learn of the 76% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “These numbers continue to underscore the need for increased outreach for reporting hate crimes, along with culturally competent support to help prevent acts of violence and protect survivors. We are clear, that these crimes are disgusting racists tropes propagated by ignorant statements and actions that ultimately hurt our communities as a whole. It is my hope that the additional resources the Board has surged to the LA vs. Hate initiative will strengthen the impact of our many partners combatting hate on the frontlines and providing justice and healing to our communities.”

“I have been increasingly alarmed by the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across Los Angeles, and  I am particularly disturbed by the three-fold increase in anti-Asian hate crimes perpetrated against women,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “This report reveals a significant and troubling problem that is growing, and makes clear that LA County must take every possible step to curb this rise in racial violence.”

“This report is disturbing but, unfortunately, not surprising,” said Supervisor Hahn. “We know the escalation of attacks against the AAPI community is taking a toll on residents. I have heard from residents who are afraid to walk alone, or go to the grocery store, or even leave their homes. The AAPI community needs to know that they are not alone. We are united in supporting them and addressing these attacks.”

“Hate has no place in Los Angeles County,” Supervisor Barger said. “I am sickened by the increase in crimes against the Asian-American community. This is an important reminder for all residents to stand up and speak out when they witness a hate crime. Our neighborhoods must be accepting and safe for residents of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.”

“The rise in hate crimes reported against LA County’s Asian American communities is deeply troubling,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. “With hate crimes likely to be underreported, we know that the actual number of hate crimes is higher than we’re able to report. If you experience a hate crime or hate act, call 211 or go to www.LAvsHate.org to receive assistance.”

Significant findings include the following:

“This last finding is particularly important,” noted Robin Toma, LACCHR Executive Director. “Contrary to impressions which might be drawn from videos in social media posts and news coverage, which are of only a fraction of the actual hate crimes, our report indicates that the racial makeup of suspects committing anti-Asian hate crimes is much more racially diverse.”

“The scapegoating of Asian Americans during the current pandemic is part of a dark history that includes LA’s Chinatown massacre of 1871, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, as well as the racially-motivated murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 and the killing of Joseph Ileto in LA by a white supremacist in 1999,” said Commission President Guadalupe Montaño. “It did not help that the former President repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as ‘chinavirus’ and ‘kung-flu.’”

In response to the rise in hate, the Board of Supervisors directed LACCHR to develop an initiative to prevent and respond to hate incidents in the County, which resulted in “L.A. vs Hate.” The initiative has three components: (1) a community-driven public engagement campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate; (2) the first government hotline (via 211) for reporting acts of hate and providing assistance to hate victims; and (3) a network of community agencies that provide hate prevention and rapid response services. Since launching in June 2020, “L.A. vs Hate” content has been viewed over 468 million times and has been shared over 88 million times. Since September 2019, when L.A. vs. Hate and 211 began accepting calls to report hate, L.A. vs. Hate has received more than 1,400 reports of hate acts.

For more information on the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative, including shareable graphics ready-made for social media, please click here.

The LA County Human Relations Commission provides mediation services for three types of disputes:

Community

Disputes for which there is time for conversation and collaboration, including merchant customer, landlord-tenant, family, neighbor to neighbor, and debt disputes.

Day-of-Hearing Court

Disputes filed as civil actions in Los Angeles County that must be resolved on the day of hearing, including small claims, unlawful detainer, and civil harassment cases. These cases are identified at the courthouse on the day of the scheduled hearing.

Restorative Justice

Disputes that involve infractions or misdemeanors in which, using Restorative Justice principles and practices, persons accepting responsibility for harm-causing behavior and those harmed by the behavior are brought together for facilitated dialogue to share their experiences and plan the actions that will be used to repair the harm. These cases are referred by law enforcement or prosecuting agencies.

For more information or to request mediation services through LA County’s Dispute Resolution Program at little or NO cost to you, call 213-728-2621 or click here.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Award-winning sand sculpture artist Greg Lebon will depict LA vs Hate’s goals of building inclusive and safe communities by depicting famous LA County landmarks in sand. These landmarks in sand, from the Hollywood sign to Randy’s giant donut, remind all County residents that all of us are welcome.

Established in September 2019 by the LA County Board of Supervisors, LA vs. Hate addresses the rise in bias and hate acts. LA vs. Hate is a community-driven campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate to 211-LA. LA vs. Hate also includes a network of community agencies that provide hate prevention and advocacy. LA vs Hate recently won a 2021 National Association of Counties Organization (NACo) Achievement Award for program design and development. For more information, including shareable community-centric graphics ready-made for social media, please go to www.LAvsHate.org.

For seven of the past ten years, Greg Lebon’s team, Archisand, has taken first place in the Masters 10 Man division of the prestigious U.S. Open Sand Sculpture event held each year at Imperial Beach, California. 

WHEN: Saturday, August 7, 2021. Sand sculpture completion estimated between 1 and 2pm

LOCATION: Will Rogers State Beach, 17000 CA-1, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.  There are paid parking lots at Will Rogers State Beach and free street parking along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

WHO:  •Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations and Assistant Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS)* •Greg Lebon, Archisand

*will be available to speak in Spanish

CONTACT: 

Terri Villa-McDowell, LA County WDACS/Commission on Human Relations: TVillaMcdowell@wdacs.lacounty.gov, 323-719-8891

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.

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Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.gov 



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/.

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Contact: Kevin Anderson, Special Assistant
kanderson@wdacs.lacounty.gov (email) 



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 hereA 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:

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:

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.

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Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.gov 



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. 

“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:

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Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.gov 



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:

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:

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.

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Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.gov 



LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the LA vs. Hate Coalition, led by the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and the LA County Human Relations Commission, announced the inaugural United Against Hate Week in the County of Los Angeles. Through a unique, community-building blend of art, social media, and educational resources, the LA vs. Hate Coalition is urging communities to reject hate and bigotry and promote inclusion. From November 30 through December 6, United Against Hate Week will invite LA County residents to take action against hate by going LAvsHate.org or by calling 211-LA to report hate incidents. Reporting hate to 211 can be done anonymously, 24/7, in any language, and callers can receive free counseling, support, and other assistance.

“Addressing hate comes from within our communities through a commitment to stand up for one another at the ground level,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “United Against Hate Week” is an important opportunity to engage our local residents and provide tools and resources so that our communities can stand in solidarity against hate.”

“As the song from South Pacific goes, ‘You have to be taught to hate,’” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “This means that, if hate is learned, hate can be un-learned. The best way to do that is to lift up our voices and make clear to everyone around us that, while we will often disagree, hate has no place in Los Angeles. I hope everyone will participate in the inspiring activities that have been organized for LA vs Hate week, and bring more love into the world in 2021.”

“Our diversity has made LA County an economic and cultural success,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting WDACS Director. “Especially within the context of a global pandemic and a national outcry that ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it’s more important than ever that we stand together, united against hate.”

“In the midst of racial unrest across the country, when hate activity is on the rise, and Asian Americans have been targeted with prejudice and discrimination related to the coronavirus, LA vs Hate offers people a chance to do something about it,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations. “Our United Against Hate Week campaign calls on everyone to do something, big or small, and become connected to the overwhelming numbers of us who are against hate and bigotry, and for love and embracing of the diversity in our county.”

Following a motion from the LA County Board of Supervisors in September 2019 to address the rise in bias and hate acts, the LA vs Hate initiative was established. LA vs. Hate is a community-driven campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate to 211-LA. LA vs. Hate also includes a network of community agencies that provide hate prevention and advocacy. For more information, including shareable community-centric graphics ready-made for social media, please go to www.LAvsHate.org.

United Against Hate Week was born in 2017 as a poster project in response to white supremacist groups who were planning rallies in Berkeley. Since then, United Against Hate Week has grown beyond posters and has spread to more than 60 communities across California.

“The United Against Hate Week may be more important than ever this year,” said John Baackes, CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly-operated health plan and a member of the United Against Hate Week Coalition. “The pandemic has created fear across the country, and there is evidence that fear leads to anger and hate.”

Inclusion and equity are vital to building healthy, resilient communities. United Against Hate Week provides Coalition members the opportunity to build stronger connections that will lead to year-round engagement in LA County’s unique and diverse communities. The Coalition includes civic leaders, educators, artists, health plans, immigrant rights groups, and more.

A press conference to launch United Against Hate Week will begin today at 1pm. Please click here to register (Password: HRCmedia123). 

For a complete list of United Against Hate Week activities in LA County, please click here.

United Against Hate Week Coalition:

Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (Founder)
211 LA County
Antelope Valley Partners for Health
Anti-Defamation League
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council
Berkeley’s Office of the Mayor
Blue Shield Promise Health Care Plan
City of Los Angeles Civil & Human Rights Department
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LAHate Violence Prevention Partnership – LA
Kaiser Permanente
L.A. Care Health Plan
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Not in Our Town
San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center
Southern California Grantmakers
Special Service for Groups, Inc.
Taskforce LLP
Western Justice Center



Record number of white supremacist hate crimes, crimes against the transgender community, and second-highest number of anti-immigrant slurs reported

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) released its annual account of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County in calendar year 2019. Since 1980, LACCHR has compiled, analyzed, and produced this annual report of hate crime data submitted by law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. While hate crimes remain virtually unchanged from the previous year, increasing 523 in 2018 to 524 in 2019, this high represents a 36% increase since hitting a 30-year low in 2013. With the leadership and support of the Board of Supervisors, LACCHR and its partners have worked to combat hate in LA County, including with the launch of the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative earlier this year.

To view the complete report, including hate crime maps, graphs and tables, please visit hrc.lacounty.gov. For specific race/ethnicity data and examples, please click here for anti-African American hate crimes, click here for anti-Latino hate crimes, and click here for anti-Asian hate crimes

“During this pandemic, it’s as important as ever to engage in ongoing dialogue and collaboration,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I thank the Human Relations Commission for this important and timely work that seeks to protect life and property against crime in all of its forms.”

“While the annual hate crimes reported remain steady this year, this number is still too high. Marginalized communities continue to be targeted and discriminated against. LA County must continue to combat racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and white supremacy,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First Supervisorial District. “I’m proud that the County launched the innovative LA vs. Hate campaign to urge residents to stand against hate. But this year’s hate crimes report show that we have more to do. We have to ensure that Los Angeles County is truly a place where everyone can be who they are without fear.”

“As stated in my July 21st motion to establish an antiracist policy agenda for Los Angeles County, Black people are disproportionately represented on the low end of several indices of social and economic well-being, including homelessness, COVID-19 fatalities, and joblessness. Sadly, racially motivated attacks are no different. According to the 2019 Hate Crimes Report, Black people were targeted in 47 percent of racial hate crimes, while constituting only nine percent of the County’s population,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “For those who believe that racism is no longer a problem, I invite you to review the examples this report provides of these vile and cowardly crimes, more than 70% of which were classified as violent in nature.”

“LA County has adopted and publicized a number of promising programs to promote inclusion, but the County cannot be fully insulated from the results of the torrent of hatred and intolerance that has emanated from the White House for four long years,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I am deeply saddened by this year’s report, including recording the largest number of anti-transgender hate crimes ever, and I am hopeful that new national leadership will put this nation back on track to recognizing every person’s fundamental human rights.”

“These results are deeply troubling but match the trend we have seen from previous reports: Hate crimes in LA County continue to rise every single year,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “While the LA vs. Hate Campaign we launched in August has increased awareness around the importance of reporting hate and helped connect hate victims with supportive services, we have a lot more work to do make sure all of our residents know that the County is taking action to protect them from this growing threat – especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hate has no place in LA County. If you witness a hate crime, report it by calling 2-1-1 right away.”

The report’s significant findings include the following: 

“Our diversity has made LA County an economic and cultural success,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS). “Especially within the context of a global pandemic and a national outcry that ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it’s more important than ever that we combat and report hate. We’re grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their foresight and direction to implement L.A. vs. Hate, and for their support of other efforts to eliminate bias and inequities in our society.”

“It is troubling that hate crimes in L.A. County have been rising for six years in a row,” said Robin Toma, LACCHR Executive Director. “We also saw the highest rate of violence in twelve years.”  
 “African Americans continue to be grossly over-represented in racial, sexual orientation and anti-transgender hate crimes,” said Commission President Guadalupe Montano. “We’re also alarmed about the record number of reported anti-transgender crimes.” 

In response to the rise in hate, the Board of Supervisors directed LACCHR to develop an initiative to prevent and respond to hate incidents in the County, which resulted in “L.A. vs Hate.” The initiative has three components: (1) a community-driven marketing campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate; (2) the first government hotline (via 211) for reporting acts of hate and providing assistance to hate victims; and (3) a network of community agencies that provide hate prevention and rapid response services. Since launching in June 2020, “L.A. vs Hate” content has been viewed over 186 million times and has been shared to a social media audience of over 7 million. Calls to 211-LA reporting hate acts have nearly doubled, from 60 in June 2020 to 118 in September.

For more information on the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative, including shareable graphics ready-made for social media, please click here.

Media Contact:

Los Angeles County Joint Information Center – COVID-19pio@ceooem.lacounty.gov
(424) 241-3775

If you require special accommodations,
please call (213) 952-9036.

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.

Contact:

Michael Kapp,
Director of Public Affairs
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.go

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.

Contact: 

Michael Kapp,
Director of Public Affairs
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.gov

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