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

Mychal's Learning Place Job Training Programs

Mychal's Learning Place serves youth and young adults with developmental disabilities (70% BIPOC, 80% low-income) by emphasizing interactive, inclusive job training environments and activities that will transfer to gainful employment, addressing a root cause of income inequality in LA's disabled community. Nearly every adult student receives on-the-job training inside of Mychal's social enterprises and/or job placements. Since 2016, 125 students have graduated, and our proposed expansion will create room for 200-300 in the next five years.


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 Bay

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 Issues-The following deep-seated issues related to employment cause rampant income inequality within the ID/DD community: There is an 85% unemployment rate for those with developmental disabilities, despite more than half seeking that mark of independence. In addition, post-COVID shift towards more at-home work environments has further reduced access to training opportunities and jobs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). People with ID/DD have been historically denigrated and mistreated as the general public harbors stigmas and misconceptions about these disabilities, which makes obtaining employment even more difficult. Public-facing platforms for those with ID/DD will provide key community awareness opportunities. There is a lack of job training resources and programs for those with developmental disabilities, especially post-COVID when 63% of similar services providers discontinued services.

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

Mychal's Job Training Programs: After School Program - ASP students (ages 8-22) strengthen their life skills as well as social-emotional skills (ie. increased self-confidence), building a strong foundation for potential employment. - ASP includes job training for transition age students (ages 18-22) within Mychal's social enterprises where students explore on-the-job skills and paths to employment offered in our Path to Independence Program for older students. Path to Independence Program - P2I students (aged 18-30) enter work environments through Mychal's social enterprises (Bakery, Cafe, and Print shop) and/or corporate partnerships where they learn how to navigate professional relationships and duties. - Students graduate with requisite job certifications and are placed in jobs within Mychal's social enterprises or with corporate partners. - Once placed in a job, students receive on-going employment support through case management and open communication with corporate partners. Defeating ID/DD Stigma - Students participate in weekly outings and a dozen major public events each year, giving the LA community and the Mychal's community opportunities to grow awareness and understanding. - Our Bakery, Cafe, and Print shop locations (open 5 days a week) are student-run and serve thousands of locals and local businesses, and each item sold contains info on Mychal's. - Job placements center individuals with ID/DD within the workforce and in public-facing positions.

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

In 2021, Mychal's began an initiative to purchase/renovate two buildings to house expanded social enterprise programs. A $75,000 grant will support program costs associated with this expansion, helping us reach 40+ person waitlist in Year 1 and 200-300 students by Year 5. Mychal's Print (expanded program established in building purchased in 2021, planned expansion onto additional floor in 2024) Current capacity: 14 students training, 2 employed Goal: 20+ students training, 3+ employed Mychal's Cafe & Bakery (building identified and 30% of funding secured) Current capacity: 9 students training, 3 students employed Goal: 30+ students training, 6+ students employed Intended Impacts - Graduating students are employed within Mychal's social enterprises and corporate partners - Reduction of 85% unemployment helps fight income inequality within LA's ID/DD community - Proof of concept of expanded social enterprise models allows for nation-wide scaling via replication of models by partners

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

Impact Tracking Mychal's documents a student's growth daily on software that supports extensive notes. Reports are compiled weekly and monthly and are shared with students and families, and tracked amongst staff and board. Each year, caregivers of participants complete a survey about the impact of each program: - 100% of students have improved in their general life skills (62% have shown much improvement) - Nearly 100% are safer in their homes and community, and more communicative, independent, resilient to change, and adventurous - Nearly 100% of parents are confident their student will find and keep a job Proof of Concept - Similar service providers from around the country are consulting with Mychal's to replicate the social enterprise models in their communities - The Print Shop: 300-strong client list; sells 40,000 items per year - The Bakery: 75-strong client list; sells 7,500 items per year - The Cafe: 35,500 customers per year

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

Direct Impact: 140

Indirect Impact: 160,000