University of Southern California (USC) logo with the Hire LA's Youth logo
The University of Southern California recently celebrated the more than 50 local high school and community college Hire LA’s Youth participants whose first job experience at USC exposed them to the opportunities available through campus life.

Irene Rodriguez, vice president of business development for the USC Credit Union has participated in the Hire LA’s Youth program for three years.

“We teach them life skills,” she said. “At the Credit Union we pride ourselves on educating them on credit, credit building, the basics of managing a savings and checking accounts. They leave with a wealth of knowledge that they can take along their lives.”

Jessica Lotka celebrates her one year employment anniversary at Dytran Instruments, Inc.
The South Los Angeles WorkSource Center (WSC) helped job seeker Jessica Lotka receive National Emergency Grant funding to attend the Manufacturing Academy at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) which provided her training to quickly land employment in a new industry.

“Before starting the Manufacturing Academy classes, I worked 15 years for cellphone refurbishing companies. Unfortunately in my last job the company went bankrupt. Today these companies and other similar ones are out of business,” Jessica said. “At that moment, I decided that I should learn new concepts to be able to improve myself, be at the forefront of technology and be competitive in the labor market.”

WDB member and Bank of America Senior Vice President Garrett Gin (left) speaks to City of LA Workforce Development Chair Charlie Woo and EWDD General Manager Jan Perry at the inaugural Hire LA’s Youth Heroes reception at LA City Hall
Nearly 30 people attended the inaugural Hire LA’s Youth Heroes event Wednesday September 12, 2018 at the Tom Bradley Tower at Los Angeles City Hall, the first “Youth Heroes” event to celebrate donors whose sponsorships make it possible for young Angelenos ages 14-24 gain their first work experience.

“Most of the young people come from underserved communities, so to have the opportunity to work at their first job and actually earn their very first paycheck is really, really quite a blessing,” said City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) General Manager Jan Perry, who served as program emcee. “When you invest in the Hire LA’s Youth program, you invest in the future of our city because we’re training the next generation of young people to work.”

Image of a mortar and pestle filled with natural herbs, oils and flowers, resting on a block of wood in floral setting
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) provided entrepreneur Maria Suarez step-by-step guidance to develop a business plan with financial projections and assisted her with filing a DBA (Doing Business As) to launch her essential oils skin care line Blend Essence.

Maria, a Latina mother of three, has a passion for natural products and decided to make her own skin care products. After spending several years researching the best ingredients for skin rejuvenation and restoration, Maria began making her own essential oils.

LA:RISE helped Vernon Shepard get a job at CRCD Enterprises
The Vernon-Central/Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) WorkSource Center, through the LA:RISE program, provided Vernon Shepard with work shoes and support to start his first job after serving 16 years in prison.

Vernon, a father of three, was facing the challenges of homelessness, when he visited the offices of Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) Enterprises, a professional maintenance services company. An EWDD partner, CRCD also runs the Vernon-Central/LATTC WorkSource Center and the City’s South Region YouthSource Center.

LA:RISE helped Juan Salazar transition from a career in sewing to maintenance
The Vernon-Central/Los Angeles Technical Trade College (LATTC) WorkSource Center provided Juan Salazar, a father of three boys, with job training to transition from a career in the apparel industry to become a driver for Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) Enterprises.

Juan’s primary skill was sewing and after recently losing his job, he was having a hard time finding work. Juan became interested in working for CRCD Enterprises after seeing their company trucks around his neighborhood.

Former LA Laker Metta World Peace greets YouthSource participants while EWDD General Manager Jan Perry looks on with EWDD Youth Operations Team staff
Against a mural of hands reaching up towards a basketball, approximately 57 youth from five of the City’s YouthSource Centers recently learned the basics of the game from former LA Laker Metta World Peace, and how establishing a solid foundation in sports can help youth mentally prepare for decisions in day-to-day life.

“Basketball is very similar to life,” Metta said. “The things you do today, that’s how you’re going to play. If you’re not preparing, if you don’t have the fundamentals, it’s going to affect your game.”

Local entrepreneur Jenny Chih poses on the floor of her business, JC Handbags, located in the fashion district of downtown LA
The Mid City Region BusinessSource Center helped entrepreneur Jenny Chih address cash flow issues, negotiate a reduced monthly rent and develop a system to track her expenses, allowing her to retain her business JC Handbags, along with her livelihood.

Since 2013, Jenny has owned JC Handbags in Santee Alley, a retail shopping area in the Fashion District of downtown Los Angeles.

Due to personal circumstances, Jenny ran into cash flow issues that

30 graduates from the 2018 Human Resource Assistant Academy at LA Valley College pose with their completion certificates
The Canoga Park/South Valley WorkSource Center (WSC) and Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) recently teamed up to provide an accelerated five-week Human Resource (HR) Assistant Academy program free of charge to approximately 30 job seekers, with the goal of getting them back into the workforce right away.

“I think it is a great example of a community college partnering directly with a WorkSource Center on a team approach to specialized training,” said Doug Marriott, Dean of Adult/Community Education and Workforce Development at LAVC.

@CFEfund tweet about the total impact from their #SummerJobsConnect campaign, raising financial awareness and money skills in today's youth
On August 16, 2018, 28 HIRE LA’s Youth were honored at the EWDD Main Conference Room for completing an eight-week internship as Peer Financial Coaches.

Two Peer Coaches were based at each of the City’s 14 YouthSource (YSC) Centers, where they provided financial literacy orientations and one-on-one coaching to more than 700 summer youth participants.

Martin Quiroz, Esquire, seated at his desk in his own downtown LA law firm, Quiroz Law (image courtesy of Martin Quiroz)
The Harbor-Watts-BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Martin Quiroz obtain a pre-startup loan that allowed him to launch his own law firm at 333 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles and hire four employees.

After 16 years of experience as an attorney in a variety of legal, compliance and operation roles in highly regulated industries, Martin decided it was time to open his own law firm.

Career Coach Ernesto Garcia (right) helped Veteran Ramiro Cardenas (left) successfully apply to Metro’s WIN-LA program
The Vernon-Central/Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) WorkSource Center helped veterans Ramiro Cardenas, Joseph Nichols and Jesus Soto complete training that places them on the path to becoming service attendants with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro).

Veterans Career Coach Ernesto Garcia met with the veteran participants to discuss career path opportunities that would lead to upward mobility and conducted an initial workforce skills assessment.