2022 Grants Challenge

Lost Angels Work Program

LACP aims to support and expand the Lost Angels Work Program – a 12-week industrial arts vocational training and skills development program that serves at-risk and opportunity youth ages 18-24 in the Antelope Valley. As a social enterprise, LACP youth at-risk for homelessness and/or joblessness – will go through a paid apprenticeship in classic car restoration, gaining a multitude of skills and techniques including welding, fabrication, engine assembly, electrical, bodywork, and composites.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by Funding Partner, TBA)

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

Antelope Valley

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The Antelope Valley (AV) is the most under resourced area in Los Angeles, home to the largest prison system in the country, with the highest rate of foster, unhoused, and unemployed youth. Addiction, poverty, homelessness, and incarceration are rampant. Single mothers and youth live on the street or in cars. Aged out foster youth are delivered to the street with everything they own in a garbage bag. Homeless youth are disconnected from education, the workforce, and social support networks. Unemployment is higher and more damaging for youth. They lack training, resources, experience, and are frequently the first to be dismissed. The pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities. Amid this crisis, the AV’s aerospace industry has a rising and unmet demand for entry level employees leading to lucrative careers. This is a moment of tremendous opportunity to empower youth to rise above their circumstances and thrive – training the youth is key and opening the door to employment opportunities.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

LACP works with the AV’s concentrated communities of systems-impacted youth (disproportionately BIPOC) who lack vocational skills, support, and face barriers such as housing, food insecurity, transportation, or criminal record. LACP offers paid vocational training, case management, barrier assessment, wrap-around support, and job placement. For the proposed program – LACP will offer three 12-week paid vocational training classes each year. Each cohort aims to enroll 24 youth, serving a total of 72 per year. The program provides services and training 4 days a week for 8 hours a day, and youth get paid $15/hour to learn classic car restoration skills including welding, metal work, composites design and fabrication, engine assembly, auto electrical systems, and bodywork. Lost Angels is a registered social enterprise, and the students work on customer vehicles and/or cars our organization sells or use in our annual vehicle giveaway sweepstakes event to generate revenue that offsets program costs. Additional program components can include forklift, hazmat, and OSHA certifications. LACP offers soft skill professional development workshops including resume building, mock interviews, workshop math, and financial literacy. The LACP curriculum is designed with input from local aerospace professionals to teach transferable skill sets in high demand by local employers. LACP matches clients to living-wage jobs. In 2022, Northrop Grumman hired 26 of our graduates.

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

This program will positively impact the AV and Los Angeles County for years to come by training youth and matching them to in-demand entry-level jobs that lead to lucrative careers in aerospace. Recognizing a lack of employment for young adults, particularly those transitioning out of foster care and/or the juvenile justice system with limited skills – this is an innovative solution for preparing youth for the workplace. Industrial arts job skills training combined with sectoral industry partnerships with aerospace employers reduces unemployment rates among youth and TAY, shifts poverty levels as youth receive living wage employment opportunities, and meets the local aerospace industry's growing and unmet need for quality entry-level employment candidates who know how to work with their hands. Located in a crisis epicenter caused by a lack of resources and high rates of poverty and unemployment, Lost Angels offers a continuum of services that break the school to prison pipeline.

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 will track and measure the following criteria as a method of evaluation: 1) number of youths who: a) graduate vocational training; b) receive and maintain a living wage job in aerospace or related industry for 1 or more years; c) complete 200 or more hours of paid, on the job training; d) receive case management and job placement services; e) attend professional development workshops; f) receive industry recognized certifications in forklift operation, hazmat and OSHA; 2) Social Enterprise revenue generated to offset costs; 3) Outcomes of case management clients including barrier removal, such as HiSET/GED/Diploma completion; driver’s license obtained, criminal records expunged, and other barrier resolutions. 4) Supportive services dispersed including monetary incentives, tools provided, uniforms, food and transportation assistance, credit repair assistance, paying off outstanding tickets and license suspensions and other financial and other supports administered.

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

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 350

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

Lost Angels is not submitting a collaborative proposal. All activities are conducted at the Lost Angels Training Facility. However, we will continue to partner with the City of Lancaster, America's Job Center of California, Paving the Way Foundation, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Change Reaction and other partner and local organizations to ensure that participants have a comprehensive support system. Lost Angels will also braid and leverage funding from various sources to ensure robust programming and continued expansion of services. As a former LA2050 Grantee, Lost Angels has continued to grow and expand. In 2022 Lost Angels moved into a training facility that is twice as large as its previous location and we now have capacity to train over twice as many students each year.