LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

GYA Youth Employment Program

GYA's Youth Employment Program is an existing project designed to provide regional eligible youth ages 14-24 with training, case management and mentored employment opportunities to break the cycles of poverty and become self-sufficient. It is a comprehensive program that leverages many other resources to meet the needs of the youth of our community!


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

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation)

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

San Fernando 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 Youth Employment Program is for youth ages 14-24 from low to moderate-income families that are unable to secure employment without our services. The City of Glendale has a population of approximately 203,000 and a labor force of 103,700. Of the total population, 17.9% are under the age of 18. Approximately one-in-seven youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are considered disconnected, which means they are not in school or employed. The youth we serve are predominantly Armenian and Latino, with smaller numbers of Asian, White and African-American participants. Many of our youth participants are from immigrant families that are new to the country. About one-third to one-half of our clients' families receives public assistance. Based on Census reports, 15.6 percent of the population in Glendale lives in poverty. Majority of the youth in the program speak English as a second language and may have difficulty in school with their grades.

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

GYA's Youth Employment Program provides participants with pre-employment training, occupational mentorship, case management, supportive services and paid jobs. Youth will be placed in jobs within the community where they can learn the much-needed hands-on work experience necessary to succeed in the adult workforce. Worksite supervisors will take on the role of training and mentoring the participants. The case managers will follow up with each youth and their supervisor to make sure that they are making successful progress at their jobsites. GYA proposes that once the program participants are equipped with pre-employment skills and hands-on skills, they will secure unsubsidized full-time or part-time employment for a period of at least 6 months. During the training component of the program, youth will learn how to fill out a job application, create a resume that demonstrates their skills and experience, dress appropriately and communicate effectively during an interview. The training will also cover the fundamental skills necessary to succeed in the workplace such as work ethics, office and phone etiquette, the importance of punctuality, attendance, communication, and teamwork. Furthermore, GYA will provide financial literacy, exposure to various industries and labor market information. This project will be focused on serving the immigrant/refugee population as well as youth that have recently lost a parent or immediate family member.

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

Based on the State of CA Employment Development Department Labor Market Information Division the unemployment rate in October 2022 for Los Angeles County was 4.5%, while youth unemployment rate was 8.5. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that students that are not involved in extracurricular activities are 49% more likely to have used drugs and 37% more likely to become teen parents than those who take part in extracurricular activities for one to four hours per week. GYA's Youth Employment Program participants develop the proper tools to successfully secure employment to become economically stable and remain above poverty levels. Training and work experience increases the probability that the youth will be able to secure and maintain employment in the future and become positive members of the greater Los Angeles community.

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

GYA keeps excellent records to document program process and outcomes. All of the client data and performance-related data are tracked and available for monitoring. Each client also has a case file that is overseen by the Program Coordinator that documents the youth's progress. Sign-in sheets are used and kept for documentation purposes for all training sessions as well as paid work experience. Since 1993, GYA has made a significant impact in the lives of over 12,000 youth in our community and over the past year served 400 youth in six programs. While obtaining and retaining a job is at the heart of GYA's mission, ensuring the mental and physical health of the youth is also of paramount importance. As the needs of our community changes, GYA is at the forefront to meet these needs.

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

Direct Impact: 21

Indirect Impact: 50

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

Youth will be placed to work at various departments and sections of the City of Glendale based on their skills and interest. Youth will have an opportunity to work side by side with public sector employees, creating opportunities for future careers.