2022 Grants Challenge

Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship Program for Victims of Domestic Violence

Jenesse strives to give survivors of domestic violence the skills, tools and support they need to achieve self-sufficiency, transforming their lives through vocational training, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities. Jenesse assists clients with all aspects of the employment process from resume development and interview readiness to workplace skills. Also, by offering entrepreneurship courses, counseling, and start-up funds, Jenesse supports survivors who want to launch their own business.


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

Income Inequality

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

South LA

South Bay

Other:: Mid-City

Wilshire Areas

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?

Economic equity is defined here as to how income and opportunities are distributed. For generations, Black residents have been cut off from social equity and economic equality by systemic racism and persistent societal failures of massive proportions. As a result, Black Americans earn less money than their white counterparts, inherit less wealth, and have access to a fraction of the opportunities, from health to education, that commonly lead to the type of white-collar careers that have transitioned to remote work during the pandemic, allowing workers to retain their positions and income while remaining safe. In addition, a lack of employment and employable skills exacerbates the cycle of domestic violence (DV) by limiting viable options for self-sufficiency. Without a viable means of supporting themselves and their family, poor women of color in South Los Angeles who suffer from DV are at higher risk of remaining in violent households simply because they have nowhere else to go.

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

Jenesse offers vocational training, employment readiness, and entrepreneurship programs to the clients within an overarching framework of life and workforce skills, training, and support. We work with area partners to provide vocational training to the clients to prepare them to enter the workforce in a variety of positions. We also assist the clients in obtaining their GED (when needed) and link them with instructional programs and courses that prepare them for specific careers through a combination of classroom learning, hands-on training, as well as job-specific instruction. Jenesse also prepares clients for employment, facilitates career exploration, and assists in employment placement in career sectors that are predicted to experience significant growth in California in the coming years such as education, health, and medicine. We also created an online vocational assessment that allows clients to receive expedited employment services. We provide workplace skills development, computer skills training, and other on-site courses at our Education Center. Online programs are also available and include financial literacy courses and workshops on interviewing. Through the Entrepreneurship initiative of the program, Jenesse supports women who want to launch their own business. We work with workforce development departments to open pathways to succeed for clients. We also offer entrepreneurship courses on business models, use of technology, budgeting, and provide start-up funds.

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

Empowering and educating domestic violence survivors on how to live a life free of violence not only impacts those victims and their loved ones but can have profound and positive reverberations on how communities and economies operate. Achieving economic equality for survivors leaves them less vulnerable to violence from an intimate partner, and financial stability improves their lives and that of their immediate family. This, in turn, provides a significant overall economic boost for men, women, and families in the community. In addition, the participants of this program will become productive members of the community who can also create new opportunities for other members to develop new skills and secure meaningful jobs and income. Therefore, the Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship program is a powerful tool for Jenesse in its fight against the economic inequality in Los Angeles County and to create a healthy just community for everyone.

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

Jenesse’s Chief Operations Officer is responsible for ensuring that the agency’s programmatic and operational activities are monitored on a regular basis. Management and administrative staff are assigned monitoring responsibilities in areas such as Client Services; Client Satisfaction; Contract Compliance; Confidentiality; Eligibility Requirements; Outreach Activities; and Financial and Progress Reporting. The outcomes of the program achieved in previous years show that the program is working, including: 90% report greater self-esteem and enhanced confidence in their ability in supporting themselves and their family; 80% report increased economic equity as evidenced by higher income, access to opportunities, and increased self-sufficiency; 70% of clients completing the program successfully obtain employment, initiate vocational/educational programs, or launch their own businesses; 50% of the clients start their own businesses, maintain business operations for a minimum of one year.

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

Direct Impact: 500

Indirect Impact: 1,200