EWDD's WorkSource Center Employment Re-Entry Program Success Stories
The Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) Updates Newsletter from the week of August 14, 2017, features the employment re-entry success stories of five individuals from the WorkSource Center in Sun Valley, operated by El Proyecto del Barrio and the WorkSource Center in Northeast LA, operated by Goodwill Industries.

These stories are about participants of EWDD’s re-entry program, which helps formerly incarcerated individuals find work. We have provided last names only to protect these individuals’ identities.

A Fresh Start – Re-Entry Participants Find Work in Construction Industry

El Proyecto del Barrio WorkSource Center in Sun Valley helped two re-entry program participants join a pre-apprentice construction program that provided them training for careers in the construction industry. Mr. Upton and Mr. Lozano turned to the El Proyecto WSC with the goal to work in the construction sector, with hopes to obtain employment as Carpenter Apprentices through a local union.
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The El Proyecto Del Barrio WSC helped them register for “We BUILD”, a pre-apprentice construction program at the Los Angeles Unified School District West Valley Occupational Center, where they completed 540 hours of training to earn three certificates in Construction Work Levels 1, 2, and 3 within an 18-week-long semester. The design of the pre-apprentice program prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to residential and commercial building construction and remodeling projects.

Both Mr. Upton and Mr. Lozano went above and beyond to complete their required hours of instruction. At times, they had to miss class due to court appointments, to fulfill mandatory appointments with probation or parole, or interview opportunities for gainful employment. During the re-entry program, the two candidates faced challenges including limited resources and income.

Today, both are employed at full-time jobs. Mr. Upton began work on July 20, 2017 as an electrician. Mr. Lozano is now employed full-time as a carpenter. Both are earning a livable wage.

Finding Work with The City of LA – A Targeted Local Hire Success Story

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With support from El Proyecto del Barrio WorkSource Center staff, a re-entry participant successfully found work as a maintenance worker for the City of LA.

Mr. Burton enrolled at El Proyecto WorkSource Center and began his participation through Paid Work Experience (PWE) and Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) where he was assigned to the Los Angeles County Housing Authority for subsidized training. Mr. Burton was co-assisted through the re-entry program where he received additional job readiness support and career guidance.

Through his participation in PWE, Mr. Burton was invited to several recruitment and hiring events, including the City’s Targeted Local Hire Program, which provides alternate pathways for Angeleños from underserved communities to civil service jobs.

Mr. Burton ultimately secured a full-time permanent position as maintenance Worker for the City of LA. Mr. Burton said he is very grateful for all the services and support he received from El Proyecto and never imagined he would be working at the City, earning a livable wage of over $22 an hour.

Re-Entry Participant Exceeds Employer Expectations in Clerical Role

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Ms. Galed enrolled at El Proyecto del Barrio WorkSource Center as a re-entry client. She followed through with all her job readiness appointments, including resume and interview workshops and soft-skills coaching.

After several rejections from employers, Ms. Galed was introduced to the Latin American Civic Association in Panorama City, where she began an on-the-job training program in clerical and office skills which she began on a part-time basis. Ms. Galed impressed her employer with her strong motivation, drive to learn and high performance as a team player, prompting her employer to increase her training to full-time.

While in training, Ms. Galed juggled mandatory appointments with her probation officer, court appointments and was searching for housing. Ms. Galed’s performance exceeded her current employers’ expectations and she is now working full-time. She was also able to rent an apartment near her job.

New Warehouse Job First Step Toward a New Life

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Mr. Samuran is currently on parole for the next five years after having served an 18-year prison sentence. Mr. Samuran enrolled in the re-entry program at the Northeast LA WorkSource Center, run by EWDD partner Goodwill, where he immediately expressed his eagerness to get back into the workforce and reintegrate into society.

Staff helped Mr. Samuran with mock interviews, life skills coaching and intensive one-on-one services. After three weeks and a successful interview, Mr. Samuran was hired to work at a major clothing corporation's distribution warehouse in Los Angeles. Mr. Samuran’s case manager also provided him a clothing voucher and a bus pass to assist with purchasing new clothes and transportation for his new job.

Mr. Samuran said he is very grateful for the help he has received from the WorkSource Center. He has successfully retained employment for the last four months and is currently saving up to buy his first vehicle. Once he is released from the transitional home, he hopes to find his own home and continue to work on being a law-abiding citizen.

EWDD's WorkSource Center Logo

The City of Los Angeles' Economic and Workforce Development Department oversees several WorkSource Centers and Job Portals that serve as a personal employment agency for Angeleños, providing job training services to help them find work. The WorkSource Centers improve employment outcomes for both job seekers and businesses, with Case Managers helping job seekers get job ready and Business Service Advocates connecting businesses with skilled workers and job placement services.

Read More About How WorkSource Centers Have Changed The Lives of Real Angeleños

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 8/14/2017. Read this issue and more.