CA Youth Jobs Tour: Los Angeles Stops

Build a 5-stop Los Angeles leg of our CA Youth Jobs Tour to form a youth policy agenda driven by unemployed and underemployed youth.


Please describe yourself.

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

Build a 5-stop Los Angeles leg of our CA Youth Jobs Tour to form a youth policy agenda driven by unemployed and underemployed youth.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

East LA

South LA

What is your idea/project in more detail?

We will bring our statewide CA Jobs Tour to Los Angeles and lift the voices of unemployed and underemployed young adults in LA to shape California policy decisions on employment pathways and the raise the profile and urgency around the issue of youth employment.

We will:

- Hold 5 LA-based Tour stops starting in the fall of 2014. Tour stops will include roundtables in communities facing high youth unemployment rates, and include conversations with local partners, businesses, stakeholders, and policymakers, as well as media engagement.

- Produce an LA youth jobs and education policy agenda shaped by challenges IDed in Tour stops.

- Train 10 youth leaders to support and advance the agenda.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

Our organizing teams will recruit a diverse range of unemployed, underemployed, and undereducated young adults in each community we visit. We’ll particularly focus on gaining participation of traditionally underrepresented young adults including young Latinos, young African-Americans, young parents, community college and other non-traditional students, foster youth, young immigrants, and young workers. The Tour stops and stories will be both compelling and timely, and will drive significant media coverage to the issue and to accompanying solutions. At the same time, our policy team will provide the background research needed to accompany the Tour and resulting Agenda.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to LEARN today? In 2050?

Our Tour stops will also provide a means for the most impacted young adults to offer feedback on and build support for state and local workforce development solutions amongst relevant stakeholders, including employers. Together these policies will help to shape our policy agenda, which we can highlight in our networks and through the media, and build public. Our 5 LA Tour Stops will focus specifically on local challenges and local solutions. In addition, Young Invincibles will publish research predicting the economic consequences of youth unemployment in Los Angeles and localized specific youth unemployment fact sheets, providing participants at tour stops the ability to localize the serious challenges facing our generation.

Whom will your project benefit?

Our project will benefit:

- The trained young leaders who can advocate for our agenda going forward.

- Policymakers and stakeholders as they gain an understanding of key issues and challenges facing young people seeking employment pathways.

- Young unemployed and underemployed adults from the communities we focus on.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Young Invincibles has a strong track record of working effectively and closely with diverse partners, from local service providers to statewide advocates to employers, across all our campaigns. For this project, our goal is to partner with no less than 5 organizations already advocating for and addressing the needs of unemployed and underemployed young adults in Los Angeles. In each community on the Tour, we will work with local partners to amplify the voices of unemployed, underemployed, and undereducated youth in the community and their desire to work. We also intend to incorporate employers in the conversation and stakeholder engagement, as we know that it is important to include them in the conversation.

How will your project impact the LA2050 LEARN metrics?

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

Our Los Angeles Youth Jobs Tour will build solutions and buy-in to address high youth unemployment in partnership with young Angelenos. We’ll incorporate these ideas into a local and state policy agenda to be released in 2015 designed to increase educational and employment opportunities. We will also train leaders to advocate on agenda items going forward. By implementing these policies over the next several years, we will help make Los Angeles a model city in which to grow up, learn, and work.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

We’ll have short and long term metrics.

- In the short term, we’ll evaluate the number of young adults who take part in our project. YI will engage at least 100 of young adults in Los Angeles (ages 16 to 34) from low-income communities and communities of color in roundtables that shape policy decisions on employment and educational pathways.

- We'll have 5 LA-specific Tour Stops that dig into barriers faced by young Los Angelenos.

- We'll gain significant media coverage of the Tour and major issues faced by unemployed and underemployed youth.

Our second metric will involve the release of a specific policy agenda that addresses the employment challenges facing young adults in Los Angeles.

- We'll release an LA agenda alongside our broader CA policy agenda.

- We'll train 10 young adults leaders in Los Angeles to advocate on the agenda locally.

In the long run, we’ll measure success by whether we can significantly reduce young adult unemployment rates in LA County.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

We’ve seen that meaningful participation of the communities affected is essential to creating solutions that address those communities’ key challenges. In order to create economic opportunity for young adults, policymakers need to hear from young people about what the barriers are currently in their way, and how we might be able to overcome those barriers.

Roundtable discussions with groups of 10-20 participants are a great first engagement step toward meaningful feedback. They allow more detailed conversations that surface the many problems facing young adults trying to make their way in the job market. For example, we’ve learned from previous conversations that young parents face particular challenges in getting a solid education and finding a job. Had we simply surveyed hundreds of young people, we may have missed the trend in the first place.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

We have a strong track record of building partnerships, hosting events, and developing policy solutions to the challenges facing our generation. Hosting these events within a 12-month period gives us more than enough time to plan and execute in-depth conversations. We’ll plan to release the key takeaways and policy agenda in the Spring of 2015. It will take years to fully address the problem of young adult unemployment, but this project will allow us to take a strong step on that path.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

The first major barrier is that unemployed young adults are one of the hardest to reach populations as they are often disconnected from many social institutions. To overcome this we’ll be sure to partner with organizations that have a strong track record of connecting with this demographic. We’ll plan and host events through these relationships and all the while helping young adults to engage and help overcome the economic barriers in their daily lives.

The second barrier is the lack of knowledge about how young adult unemployment affects more than just the people without jobs, so it can be difficult to engage the broader community and build partnerships to tackle this issue. We will engage in extensive background research to how high young adult unemployment in Los Angeles harms not just those individuals, but the entire county and state economy, as a way to get buy-in from policymakers, stakeholders, and the public.