Youth@Work Summer 2021 Kick-Off Focuses on Re-Engaging Youth in LA County’s Re-Opening Economy
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