Los Angeles County held a celebration this week to announce the summer start of its annual Youth@Work program for at-risk youth ages 14-24.
Officials announced plans to expand youth employment opportunities across the county with a goal of hiring 25,000 young persons.
Supervisor Hilda Solis said finding work for at-risk youth is an essential component for the success of future generations.
“We are united for Youth@Work because we are unstoppable when government, the private sector and local communities come together to benefit our youth,’’ Solis said. “As a former Secretary of Labor, I know how important it is to ensure that all youth have meaningful employment opportunities and career pathways. As the largest employer in the region, the county is leading the way, along with our partners, to improve outcomes for at-risk youth.’’
Youth@Work pairs paid work experience with employment, training and support services provided through a network of America’s Job Centers of California that are guided by the county’s Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services.
The initiative targets populations with the highest need, including foster youth, justice-involved youth, youth experiencing homelessness and the CalWORKS youth program.
“Thanks to Los Angeles County’s partners in the public and private sectors, thousands of young people not only have the chance to earn a paycheck, they will also get work experience that will hopefully turn into future careers,’’ Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “We are looking to help all youth, but especially those within the county’s safety net, including those experiencing homelessness and those who have been in the foster care and juvenile justice systems.’’
This year, the county launched the Countywide Youth Bridges Program, to provide work experience for Youth@Work participants with county departments as a pathway to permanent employment in such industries as health care, recreation and social services.