2021 Grants Challenge

Lost Angels Work Program for Transitional Aged Youth

Lost Angels Children's Project offers a vocational training social enterprise program that provides high-needs transitional aged youth (TAY) with hands-on job training, career development, paid apprenticeship, and wraparound supportive services. Over one-year, the Lost Angels Work Program will teach, mentor and support approximately 36 students from the Antelope Valley. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge, skills and ability to immediately secure employment at a living wage ($17-25/hr), with benefits, in high demand industries.


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

Antelope Valley

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Lost Angels is located in the under-resourced city of Lancaster, within the Antelope Valley, where systemic racism, marginalization, the war on drugs, and a school-to-prison pipeline have created barriers to achievement. The area is exposed to an overcrowded state prison and juvenile justice center and, according to a 2019 Impact Justice report, 60% of Lancaster residents have close friends or family that have been incarcerated. Lancaster experiences the highest rates of child abuse, neglect, and foster care placements in the County. Census data shows nearly 24% of Lancaster residents are in poverty (compared to 14% in LA County); the median income for males is $36,606 and females is $24,309. Young people of color are particularly at risk and, in 2020, Lancaster and Palmdale were among the cities with the largest number of unemployed in the state—reaching above 20%. Lost Angels is improving economic opportunities and income inequality by creating a workforce pipeline for youth.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

In 2020, LACP launched the Lost Angels Work Program, piloted in partnership with the City of Lancaster, Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), and the Antelope Valley America’s Job Center of California (AJCC). The vocational training social enterprise has supported two cohorts of students to date and is currently teaching the third cohort, with plans to scale up. Participants are low-income and high needs, including youth of color, unhoused youth, foster youth, justice-affected youth, youth recovering from drug addiction in rehabilitation programs and youth referred through L.A. County public benefits welfare-to-work programs (GAIN/GROW). Our program participants have been 48% Latinx, 35% Caucasian, and 17% African American. In the last cohort, two students had criminal records, two were in drug rehabilitation, and three were unhoused. Lost Angels not only offers job training and career development support, but also addresses essential needs and barriers to progress. Our staff assist students with expunging records, obtaining driver’s licenses, completing their high school diploma or GED, and other legal, personal, social and financial issues. All applicants receive referrals and linkages to housing services, public benefits, and other vocational training opportunities, jobs and workforce development resources. Lost Angels is on track to have a 92% graduation rate, with more than 90% of students placed in on-the-job paid apprenticeship at $15/hour.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 76

Indirect Impact: 250

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Lost Angels is creating a diverse, skilled workforce that will reduce the number of unemployed and unhoused young adults in Los Angeles County. Our organization leverages community assets and resources to support hard-to-reach youth populations and improves their personal, educational, and economic outcomes. The first year of the Lost Angels Work Program pilot has proven incredibly successful, with 71% of students securing employment at wages between $17-$25 per hour with benefits after graduation. We expect these numbers to increase as the program is strengthened, partnerships are further developed, and we build our capacity to take in more students.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Lost Angels is proposing to take an existing program to scale by increasing the number of students served in a year and providing extended supportive services. We measure quantitative and qualitative outcomes, including: 1) number of TAY students served; 2) demographic information; 3) current status of housing/rehabilitation/probation, etc.; 4) types of supportive services provided (driver's license, housing, criminal record expungement, etc.); 5) number of students certified to drive a forklift; 6) number of students with a career development plan and resume; 7) number of students that graduate after 12-weeks; and, 8) number of students securing a living wage job. LACP will survey students to determine satisfaction with the program and collect information on changes in quality of life.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Employment in the tech industries

Income inequality

Economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

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