Los Angeles County summer jobs program for underserved youth begins

Los Angeles County is looking for employers and prospective workers to participate in Youth@Work, a regional program to prepare underserved youth for jobs and careers in the local reopening economy, officials said Wednesday.

Youth@Work pairs paid work experience for youth ages 14-24 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.

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The program 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. 

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As the county subsidizes participants' wages, employers also benefit greatly from this program, officials said

"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 Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis. "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."

Over the last year, the program provided training and employment, including remote work experience, in food distribution and PPE manufacturing, among other areas. For example, 163 Youth@Work participants assembled more than 100,000 face shields which were donated to local hospitals and other health care providers. 

Young workers also worked at local food banks and distribution centers while others were placed at Project RoomKey for the homeless.

"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 more information about Youth@Work and to complete the interest form, employers and youth should go to workforce.lacounty.gov/youthatwork.