The County of Los Angeles has announced its Summer Kick-Off of Youth@Work campaign, a regional initiative to prepare youth ages 14-24 for careers in our local economy. Los Angeles County leaders announced a regional goal to hire 25,000 youth and emphasized efforts underway to create job and career opportunities for youth, including justice-involved youth and others with barriers to employment.

“Youth@Work brings together the County, employers, community organizations, and other partners to prepare the future workforce in our region,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “As a former Secretary of Labor, I know how important it is to provide employment and career opportunities for all youth, no matter their background or history. This year, Youth@Work is focusing on providing career pathways for justice-involved youth and other youth facing employment obstacles. Everyone deserves a chance to re-write their story. Now, we’re coming together to help justice-involved youth re-write theirs.”

“We are grateful to the leadership of the Board of Supervisors and to our many partners in the public and private sectors, which allow us to invest in the lives of thousands of young people so they gain skills that will lead to future careers,” said Otto Solorzano, acting director of Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS).

Youth@Work pairs paid work experience for youth with a comprehensive and strategic set of employment, training, and support services provided through a network of America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) that are guided by WDACS. Youth@Work targets priority populations with the highest need, including justice-involved youth, youth experiencing homelessness, foster youth and CalWORKS youth.

This year, the County launched the CORE program (Creating Opportunities and Real Experiences) to support and develop more effective career pathways for current and former justice-involved youth. CORE was also built with private employers in mind to address and dissolve stigmas of hiring those who are justice-involved.

WDACS works to connect communities and improve the lives of all generations in Los Angeles County. They provide employment services for adults and youth and work with employers in times of hiring and downsizing. As well, WDACS offers mediation services to avoid court filings. They investigate abuse claims against older adults and the disabled population. Nutrition and other life-enhancing services are provided to older adults.