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

To Expand our LA Tech Career Academy Efforts for 300+ Marginalized LA Youth

Idea by

In an effort to expand our LA Tech Career Academy efforts, is prepared to double the scale of our Academies work and place 300 post-secondary students in the LA region from low-income and marginalized communities into tech careers. We provide students from marginalized communities with access to these careers by giving them real world work experience and placing them in internships and jobs, which are critical to career advancement in tech and credit-bearing degree persistence and completion.


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

Income Inequality

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

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

South LA

South Bay

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

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 Alliance for Southern California Innovation estimates that if the region further develops in six areas - human capital, financial capital, strong university system, strong corporate environment, adequate infrastructure, and a culture conducive to innovation - the impact could be the creation of 200,000 new jobs for local talent in the next 5 years. Despite the growth of our local tech ecosystem and L.A.'s increasingly diverse population, the current workforce does not represent this diversity. Local tech companies continue to recruit from top universities and outsource talent, reinforcing systemic barriers for women, people of color and opportunity for youth to access this growing labor market which can increase their income by 2M in their lifetime (Measure of America).

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

From 2023-2024, is prepared to double the scale of our Academies work and place 300 post secondary students in the LA region from low-income and marginalized communities into tech careers. We not only want to increase the number of students that we place in internships, but also increase our internship and job post Academy placement percentage from 45% to 60%. We will do this by building out a more robust IT Accelerator model which will take Academy scholars into an IT internship with the County through the Internal Services Department (ISD), resulting in a one-year apprenticeship-like experience before job placement and degree completion in IT. The IT Career Accelerator model phases will take place over the course of one academic year from 2023-2024. Below we have outlined the timeline for key activities. FALL APPLICATION PHASE - July FALL PRE-ACADEMY PHASE - August FALL ACADEMY PHASE - September - December SPRING COUNTY INTERNSHIP - January - May SUMMER JOB PLACEMENT AND CONTINUED SUPPORT AND TRACKING - May - June

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

Academy graduates, like Nicole, a formerly homeless student attending Santa Monica College and later UCLA, share, "The Academy taught me to confront imposter syndrome and gave me the confidence to enter my first big internship with confidence. After the program, I've decided that technology is the place for me and that there are many possibilities for people with similar backgrounds as me. It opened my eyes to different career paths and honestly, at this point, I don't think there is any career that is unattainable for me." Beyond these stories and our quantitative impact, with larger scale investments in the Academies, also improved the impact and quality of programming, building out a more robust and equity-driven program model that engages students in 160 hours (12-weeks) of intentional work-based learning opportunities that takes scholars from career exploration to preparation, and ultimately, gainful employment.

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 use data-driven measures to track and scale our impact. Through our pre- and post-Academy satisfaction surveys, we illuminate our scholars' transformative experiences both quantitatively and qualitatively. In Spring 2023 post-academy survey, our scholars indicated an overall experience of 8.8/10 with a 9.2/10 recommendation score for our academies. We have also conducted focus groups to measure scholar needs post-Academy and ensure our team supports career trajectories for successful internship placements. Success criteria: 500 applicants recruited & connected with non-technical skills training with, all applicants not enrolled in college are connected to certificate programs at local colleges, 250 Scholars are connected to the IT Career Academy. 100% youth served are low-income 98% youth identify as people of color 20% youth identify as opportunity youth (justice-involved, foster, homeless/home-insecure) 90% qualify for and are accepted to County Internship Program

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

Direct Impact: 300

Indirect Impact: 1,500