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

Preparing the Next Generation Workforce

Idea by EXP

EXP is the opportunity engine. We bring industry and schools together to build tomorrow's workforce and provide career opportunities to students. Our programs help schools and support teachers to deliver an innovative, career-based curriculum making classroom learning relevant and exciting. Our programs expose students to opportunities and challenging experiences preparing them for college, career and life through enhancing career pathways, small learning communities, Linked Learning initiatives and other career-based educational programs.


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?

South LA

South Bay

Other:: Barstow (San Bernardino County)

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 ongoing effects of the pandemic on young people remain. "In LAUSD, the number of Ds and Fs in grades 9-12 increased by 8.7 percentage points in the fall compared to the same time period last year, with greater increases among Black (23.2%) and Latino (24.9%) students." ( We support our high school students who are 85% are Black and Latinx, and 95% are people of color, to be successful in both career and life. While the challenges facing our students might appear to be solely about grades, the issues stem from both academic and social learning loss. Many rising seniors in the coming school year have limited exposure to in-person instruction and peer-to-peer socialization having started high school at the height of the pandemic.

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

EXP program managers are an embedded resource on site at our partner high school. Our programs & services are designed to engage students in multiple ways throughout their high school experience including: 1) off-campus career discovery and exploration day events, where students learn about careers in an array of STEM, high-wage & high-growth industries and have the opportunity to interact with a variety of industry professionals; 2) a fall & spring Industry Coaching Program & a year-round Young Fellows Program (mentoring) series; 3) a year-round guest speaker series; & 4) a 12-month Internship Program, featuring a series of career-readiness workshops, mock interviews, employer interviews, & a paid, high quality work-based learning internship in a supportive professional environment with an EXP industry partner. We also support alumni, & other interested young adults, during their college and career pursuits, providing employment resources, professional development, & networking opportunities ensuring further personal development, professional growth & career success. The EXP team works in collaboration with industry, education, student, & community partners to consider barriers & challenges and deliver services responsive to student needs. We are committed to maximizing our students' workforce development experiences & their exposure to college & career opportunities. Last year, 94% of EXP-supported students graduated high school compared to 86% of students within LAUSD.

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

EXP's vision is for every student to have equal access to education, experiences and career opportunities that will help them reach their full potential. Our programs help students to achieve self- and family-supporting careers, enjoy an improved overall quality of life, and be contributing residents ensuring that thriving communities exist and continue throughout LA County. Longer-term impacts may include: -Demonstrated knowledge of workforce development skills improving student college &/or career success -Greater student awareness of, and access to, high-wage and high-growth job and college opportunities -Providing industry with a skilled, local talent-pool to sustain local industries in high-wage and high-growth sectors -Increased alignment of workforce to community needs -Students' exposure to workforce development training will help to close local workforce talent gap -A raised standard of living for local communities

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

EXP assesses 10th graders to measure an understanding of the connection between education and future success as well as the impact of their program experiences. This yearly survey establishes a baseline of attitudes and self-perception of one's own level of preparedness. Simultaneously, EXP administers a survey to 12th graders to determine college and career-readiness, assess career focus, and college enrollment plans. This survey measures growth in confidence, skill attainment, and self-reporting of college to career readiness. The Internship Program is assessed from the employer and student perspectives. The number and types of industry engagement opportunities and industry partners are also tracked. EXP continuously tracks college and career trajectories of young alumni professionals who were part of EXP's high school program. We also track the number of students who participate in each career exploration activity and business skills program.

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

Direct Impact: 375

Indirect Impact: 8,200