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

Lost Angels Work Program

Lost Angels Children's Project will utilize funds to support the Lost Angels Work Program, a 12-week industrial arts vocational training and skills development program that serves opportunity youth ages 18-24 in the Antelope Valley. Youth at-risk of being unhoused and unemployed will participate in a paid apprenticeship in classic car restoration to gain a multitude of skills and techniques including welding, fabrication, engine assembly, electrical, bodywork, and composites.The Work Program leads to direct employment at a livable wage.


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?

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, and youth age out of the foster system with resources to protect them. Homeless youth are disconnected from education, the workforce, and social support networks. Youth in the AV lack training and experience, and the pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities. The diverse youth LACP serves have potential to succeed with the right instruction, attention and resources. These opportunity youth can be empowered with the skills and knowledge to meet the increasing demand for skilled laborers in the automotive and aerospace industries. LACP provides paid training to open the door to gainful employment with upward mobility, improving social and economic outcomes for youth in the AV.

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

LACP works with the Antelope Valley's concentrated communities of systems-impacted youth (disproportionately BIPOC) who lack vocational skills and face barriers such as housing, food insecurity, transportation, or criminal records. LACP offers paid vocational training, case management, barrier assessment, wrap-around support, and job placement. Over the grant period, the Lost Angels Work Program will implement three (3), 12-week sessions, serving approximately 40 youth each (120 total over a one-year period). The Work Program offers supportive services and training four (4)-days a week for eight (8)-hours a day, paying youth $15/hour to learn classic car restoration skills including welding, metal work, composites design and fabrication, engine assembly, auto electrical systems, and bodywork. LACP 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 event to generate revenue that offsets program costs. In addition to transferrable skills, the Work Program assists youth with forklift, hazmat, and OSHA certifications. Soft skills training and professional development workshops including resume building, mock interviews, workshop math, and financial literacy. LACP's curriculum is designed with input from local aerospace professionals to teach skills in high demand, and matches clients to living-wage jobs. In 2022, Northrop Grumman hired 26 graduates from the Work Program.

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

LACP expects 120 opportunity youth to graduate from the Lost Angels Work Program over a one-year period. Not only will this program make a positive impact on the lives of the youth and their families, but for also for the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County. LACP has become an area leader for specializing in supportive services that address the social and economic inequities for BIPOC youth that have fallen through the cracks, are systems-impacted, and are unseen. LACP is effectively breaking the school-to-prison pipeline that exists in the AV, while reducing unemployment among transitional-aged youth, and shifting poverty levels through living-wage jobs with benefits. LACP's innovative social enterprise prepares youth for the workplace by combining job skills training in the industrial arts with industry partnerships, matching participants to in-demand, entry-level jobs that lead to lucrative careers, particularly in the flourishing aerospace industry.

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

Since inception, LACP has expanded services every year to increase equity for diverse opportunity youth in the AV. Measures for tracking success include: 1) Number of youth who: a) complete 200 or more hours of paid on-the-job training; b) receive case management and job placement services; c) attend professional development workshops; d) receive industry recognized certifications; e) graduate; f) receive and maintain a living-wage job in aerospace or related industry. 2) Client outcomes from case management, including HiSET/GED/Diploma completion, driver's license obtained, criminal records expunged, and barrier resolutions. 3) Types of supportive services provided, including monetary incentives, tools, uniforms, food and transportation, credit repair, paying outstanding tickets and license suspensions, and other assistance. In addition, LACP collects testimonials from students and graduates to demonstrate the impact the Work Program has made on their lives.

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

Direct Impact: 120

Indirect Impact: 300