LOS ANGELES – Local leaders celebrated the launch of a high-performing Los Angeles City and County-wide 2015 summer youth employment program today. Combined, the City and County program will provide nearly 20,000 youth with job skills training, financial literacy skills, and what are often first-time pay checks.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisor Don Knabe, joined by Supervisors Hilda Solis, Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Councilmember Gil Cedillo, have all been strong advocates of the program, which they kicked off at Grand Park with young Angelenos from throughout the region.
This year, the program will focus on high-growth, high-wage sectors, exposing youth to opportunities in industries like transportation, healthcare, hospitality, logistics, and financial services, and will specifically target some of the city and county’s most vulnerable and at-risk youth. It is a partnership between the city and the county, public agencies, the private sector, and corporate sponsors.
“Last year, we not only met, but beat my promise to double our youth summer jobs to 10,000– and this year, we’re on track to hit nearly 20,000 countywide,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “HIRE L.A.’s Youth transforms lives, connecting some of our most vulnerable young Angelenos to skills training, work experience, and first-time paychecks that put them on a path to success, benefiting our families, our communities, and our City’s economy as a whole.”
“Our young people were the hardest hit in the recession and jobs available to them have been the slowest to recover,” said Supervisor Don Knabe. “An opportunity is all these kids need—a chance to show their skills and to work hard. Hiring them allows companies to build a bench of hard working and creative talent, and young people can develop the skills employers need in the job market of the future.”
HIRE L.A.’s Youth, a key component of the Youth Workforce Development System in the City and County of Los Angeles, and a signature element of Mayor Garcetti’s agenda to strengthen L.A.’s economy, provides career exploration opportunities to low-income youth between the ages of 14 and 24. This year, specific opportunities are targeted to youth from families receiving CalWORKs public assistance, foster youth, youth on probation, youth receiving General Relief, and homeless youth.
Mayor Garcetti will sign his Executive Directive No. 9 later today, which instructs all City departments to support the HIRE L.A.’s Youth program. Departments across the City have already pledged to sponsor more than 3,000 young Angelenos in jobs this summer, including the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD), the Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Los Angeles Public Library.
The positive impact of youth employment during the summer months is well documented. A labor market study commissioned by the Brookings Institute revealed that high school students who work 20 hours per week have higher levels of future economic attainment—earning approximately 20 percent more annually and receive 10 percent higher hourly wages than those who do not work. For young adults ages 20-24, those that worked at least 13 weeks in the previous year had a 30 percent higher chance of employment than those without any work experience.
The city and county also announced a new partnership with Starbucks and LeadersUp. In 2013, Starbucks established LeadersUp as a solution to closing the opportunity divide between untapped potential of young people and the business challenge of finding and keeping the best talent. Working through their LeadersUp program, Starbucks has made a national commitment to hire 10,000 youth into permanent positions at Starbucks and their supply chain partners nationwide.
Additionally, Mayor Garcetti announced that through the Citi Foundation’s Summer Jobs Connect initiative and in partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, youth in Los Angeles and in seven other cities across the country will be provided with financial empowerment training and strategies, putting them on a path to long-term financial stability.
This year’s focus on improving work opportunities and employment outcomes for transition-age foster youth was made possible by the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, a partnership between the City and County of Los Angeles and dozens of other cross-sector partners, including LAUSD, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. L.A. County is investing $1 million in the workforce preparation of foster youth and have made this population of students a high priority for the region.