LA County Youth@Work Program Manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers
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