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

Job Training and Employment Assistance for Transitional Age Youth

We offer a job training program for transitional age youth (TAY) that leads toward ongoing employment. We provide soft skill training before placing the youth into an internship at our cafe, Rosebud Coffee, or one of our partnering local businesses. In partnership with local TAY service providers, each youth is provided a paid internship, supportive services, and preparation for long-term employment. With this grant we hope to double the number of youth interns and expand beyond San Gabriel Valley to East LA.


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?

East LA

San Gabriel 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?

Empowering youth through job training is pivotal for their long-term economic stability. Studies have shown that those who experience unemployment early in life are more likely to be unemployed in later years and earn lower income than their peers. Youth unemployment has been cited as a contributing factor for rising income inequality. These realities are especially prevalent for youth who have experienced homelessness or have been in the foster care system. LA County has over 3,000 homeless TAY. Almost half of California foster youth are unemployed by age 21. Youth of color are disproportionately affected, comprising the majority of youth placed in foster care and/or experiencing homelessness. Trinity, one of our job training graduates, was in supportive housing with no job experience prior to our training program. Since our program, she has had a stable job as a barista and is now moving into her own housing.

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

We provide soft and hard skill job training and internships for TAY. They are referred to us from local service providers, with backgrounds in foster care, homelessness or probation. Our training covers job essentials including interview preparation, communication, customer service, and teamwork. Youth are then matched with an internship fitting their interests and skill set. Internships are available at our cafe, Rosebud Coffee, as well as with local business partners, including retail, construction, and landscaping. The TAY we work with often require additional guidance and a more supportive environment than their peers. Youth receive ongoing support throughout their internships as issues arise - often related to transportation, timeliness and people skills. We support them in finding the right tools to address these issues while emphasizing how crucial things like reliability and customer service skills are in job retention. Toward the end of the program, youth receive direct support in preparing for the job search process, such as guidance on using job search tools, tips for the application and interview process, and referrals to local job openings. We are also currently setting up a volunteer program to match youth graduates with a job coach and mentor to support them in job searching, job retention and basic life skills following program completion.

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

Within the next year, our aim is to support at least 30 youth in job training and securing employment. Over the next three years, we intend to expand to a second city within LA county to reach an additional network of youth. This would mean supporting up to 60 youth each year. Further, it is our goal to receive workforce funding directly to offer paid internships beyond our referral partners. We plan a slow and steady expansion in order to maintain a 80% success of interns finding employment after graduation while also helping 75% of youth graduates stay employed after six months. A ripple effect of our efforts is inspiring other businesses to embrace social impact in their work. We currently partner with five local businesses to offer additional internships in different industries, and are continually seeking to partner with more. As we share our model with these businesses, we are encouraged to see owners and managers consider how they can positively impact their 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?

We measure our impact through the success rate of securing employment following the program and qualitative assessments to measure soft and hard job skills. Assistance with employment is measured by a youth being offered a part-time job at Rosebud, local cafe, or other business upon completion of the program. To date, we have supported 36 youth with job training and internships. 28 of those youth secured employment within three months of program completion. Successful interns are ready for employment and find employment within 3-6 months following the internship and maintain employment for 6 months or more. This past program year, we began incorporating a self-reported assessment of soft skills and job-readiness which youth complete before and after our program. Internship supervisors also provide written feedback on each intern. We are seeing significant improvements in areas such as confidence in job interviews, resume quality, customer service skills, and communication.

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

Direct Impact: 30

Indirect Impact: 60