Selam Patterson pictured assisting local kids at the administrative desk at the Los Angeles Public Library in South LA
After moving to Los Angeles from Ethiopia, Selam Patterson had a hard time finding a job, until a friend at church referred her to the Downtown/Pico Union WorkSource Center, an experience she said opened up possibilities she never imagined, including finding a job with the City of LA.

“With this opportunity, my life changed,” she said. “I feel financial secure and it was a start to lead my life to the right direction.”

Selam currently works as an Admin Clerk for the Los Angeles Public Library in South LA. It’s a position she’s held for more than a year.

“When I started at my job, I learned a lot of new things,” she said. “At the beginning it was challenging for me, but with practice it was easy to understand.”

During her time at the library, she’s received training in customer service, learned how to process new books, how to work the circulation desk and how to deal with complicated patrons. For Selam, the Targeted Local Hire Program represented a job opportunity and a chance to find her sense of place as an Angeleno.

“I am very family oriented and my coworkers have become like a family to me. They have helped me learn so much about American culture and I love them for that,” she said. “I no longer feel out of place. I have gotten to learn my way around the City and this is partly because I have patrons coming into the library asking for directions. I am so proud to say I have two homes now.”

Selam highly recommends the Targeted Local Hire Program and expressed gratitude from TLHP and her opportunity with the LA Public Library. Her advice for future TLHP applicants?

“My advice for job seekers is to be patient,” she said. “Keep an open mind. Do things the right way and don't be late or absent. Give priority to your job.”

Discover the various programs and benefits offered through EWDD Employment Services and WorkSource Centers. Visit the City of Los Angeles' Targeted Local Hire Program website to locate the nearest WorkSource Center or referral agency accepting applications for the program.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of February 25, 2019. Read this issue and more.