Los Angeles county and city officials have teamed up with businesses and nonprofit organizations to help provide jobs for about 20,000 youths, not only during the summer but year-round.
“With the HIRE LA’s Youth program, we are sending a message to our young people: you are important and we will invest in you,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a press conference at Grand Park on Wednesday.
Hire LA’s Youth is a key component of the county and city of Los Angeles’ Youth Workforce Development System for over 30 years. The program helps place youth ages 14-24 into high-growth and high-wage industries, such as healthcare, transportation, logistics, hospitality, and financial services
It targets the city and county’s most vulnerable and at-risk youth, often providing their first opportunity to earn a paycheck, and receive job training and financial literacy skills.
“An opportunity is all these kids need – a chance to show their skills and to work hard,” said Supervisor Don Knabe.
Mayor Eric Garcetti added, “Hire LA’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.”
The Mayor’s office cited a labor market study which found 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 who worked at least 13 weeks in the previous year had a 30 percent higher chance of employment than those without any work experience.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, noted only a quarter of the nation’s 16- to 19-year-olds were in the work force in 2013, compared with 45 percent in 2000. In addition, statistics show that only about 17 percent of African-American 16- to 19-year-olds were employed in 2013.
“We are constantly working to identify additional funding sources so that more young people – particularly foster youth and those with disabilities – can take advantage of on-the-job training and subsidized employment,” added Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.
Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis, as well as Starbucks chief community officer Blair Taylor and Citibank managing director and market president Lisa Deloney also attended the press conference.
Working through its LeadersUp program, Starbucks has made a national commitment to hire 10,000 youth into permanent positions at Starbucks and their supply chain partners nationwide. Meanwhiloe, 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.