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Apprenticeship Preparation Program

Flintridge Center’s Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) prepares formerly incarcerated individuals for careers in union construction trades. The APP is an evidence-based intervention that integrates workforce development with trauma-informed care to create life-changing opportunities.


Has your proposal changed due to COVID-19?

As Los Angeles County and California move to slow the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons, a growing number of individuals are being released from incarceration. Compounding existing barriers, individuals are exiting incarceration to a landscape greatly altered by the pandemic, facing limited supportive services and employment opportunities. The pandemic is also disproportionately impacting communities of color, exposing deep health and economic inequities. Flintridge Center will adapt and expand the Apprenticeship Preparation Program model to meet emerging community needs and address disparities.

Instructors will facilitate the program virtually over 7 weeks: core components will include intensive case management, trauma-informed life skills, and employment development trainings. In addition to individualized support, program participants will receive necessary technology to complete the course, industry-recognized credentials, and weekly stipends.

Recognizing that there may be potentially fewer opportunities in union construction because of the pandemic, program scope will expand to support individuals in seeking employment in emerging industries. Flintridge Center’s team will continue to adapt program elements based on emerging participant needs, feedback and outcomes for the duration of this crisis. Goals for the program during this time remain the same: to provide economic opportunities, decrease recidivism, and create a more equitable Los Angeles.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

San Gabriel Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

While we are not submitting a collaborative proposal, Flintridge Center places a high organizational value on collaboration. We understand that the diverse and unique needs of formerly incarcerated individuals are best met by a network of partners working collectively. The Apprenticeship Preparation Program specifically partners with 2nd Call to provide trauma-informed life skills classes and CATZ gym to provide physical fitness training. These services will be supported with leveraged funds.

What is the need you’re responding to?

Los Angeles County has the largest jail population nationwide. The 2,873 individuals who exit LA County detention weekly face multiple barriers to successful reintegration, including employment restrictions and limited supportive services. (The Marshall Project, 2020) Data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows that 47% of individuals released from incarceration in Los Angeles County are re-convicted of a crime within 3 years.

Simultaneously, California is experiencing a massive labor shortage in the construction industry. The ratio of construction job openings to new hires, as measured by the Department of Labor, is at its highest level since 2007. In response, Flintridge Center facilitates the Apprenticeship Preparation Program, which prepares formerly incarcerated individuals for careers in union construction trades. The APP provides pathways to self-sufficiency while simultaneously creating a diverse workforce capable of meeting industry demand.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Flintridge Center has provided economic opportunities to the formerly incarcerated since 2007. The Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) is unique in its integration of trauma-informed care and workforce development. All staff who facilitate the APP are themselves formerly incarcerated; three are former graduates. The APP is continuously improved based on outcomes, participant feedback, and evolving best practices. The program is overseen by an Advisory Council that includes graduates, justice system agencies, building trades unions, and construction contractors.

In 2017, the California Workforce Development Board selected Flintridge to build the capacity of workforce development programs throughout the State to serve formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2018, Flintridge was named California’s 41st Assembly District’s Nonprofit of the Year –Assemblymember Chris Holden stated, “Their successful reintegration services should be modeled throughout the state.”

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 100

Indirect Impact: 500

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) advances equity by creating economic opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. In the past 40 years, the U.S. incarcerated population has increased by 500%, disproportionately disadvantaging communities of color. In 2017, African Americans represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the incarcerated population; Latinx represented 16% of the population but accounted for 23% of inmates. The APP’s service population is 57% Latinx and 25% African American. Participants are often siblings, cousins, friends, or children of past graduates. At Flintridge, we understand that when you change the life of one person, you change the life of their families and the communities we all live in.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Over the course of the grant period, Flintridge Center will facilitate three cohorts of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP), directly impacting 100 individuals. Flintridge measures success by the recidivism (3-year reconviction) rate of APP graduates and employment outcomes. Less than 15% of APP graduates will recidivate, compared to the Los Angeles County rate of 47%. Recidivism is measured using publicly available data from the LA County Sherriff’s Department Inmate Locator. At least 70% of graduates will be employed in union apprenticeships or other sectors within one year of graduation. Employment outcomes are measured through ongoing case management with graduates, communication with employers, and workforce manager databases.

Qualitative outcomes will include (1) trauma reduction – improvement in stress management, self-esteem, anger management, interpersonal communication skills, and changes in thinking patterns - as measured by a pre- and post- program assessment (2) positive and negative experiences with project services as measured by focus groups with program graduates and Flintridge staff. These outcomes consistently inform program development, delivery and expansion.

The long-term outcomes of the project will be (1) increased self-sufficiency across the formerly incarcerated community leading to generational economic advancement for individuals and their families (2) a diverse and inclusive workforce (3) a more equitable Los Angeles.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your submission impact?​

Income inequality

Economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated

Unemployment rate

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support