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

WestCal Pre-Apprenticeship Program

The WestCal Pre-Apprenticeship Program helps students discover their career pathway while guiding them into a California registered apprenticeship. Graduates of the program secure gainful careers with a thriving 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?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

WestCal Academy has served Los Angeles County for over eight (8) years. We help students of all ages discover their career pathway through our WestCal Pre-Apprenticeship Program that allows participants to engage multiple career opportunities. This gives the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with careers before dedicating themselves to a full traditional or non-traditional apprenticeship program. Career options include, but are not limited to: automotive, baking, carpentry, culinay, dental assisting, electrical, graphic arts, machinist, medical assisting, pharmacy technician, plumbing, sterile technician. The best assurance for securing a thriving wage is thorugh a California registered apprenticeship. Starting wages start at near $20 per hour and nearly all with benefits. Living wages are not the goal. WestCal Academy advocates for thriving wages. Apprenticeships have a higher payout than most college programs.

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

Since July 2022, WestCal Academy began conducting its programs for justice impacted youth housed at Los Angeles County Probation, Dorothy F. Kirby Center in Commerce, CA. Over that same period of time, WestCal Academy was approached by Long Beach Unified School District to establish our programs for all their high schools, beginning with Lakewood High School and Poly Academy Of Achievers and Leaders. As our program for justice impacted youth demonstrated success in career placement, WestCal Academy was given the opportunity to expand our program at additional probation halls and camps, as well as to expand programs to more diversionary youth. WestCal Academy is in need of additional funding in order to expand our services at additional Los Angeles County Probation halls and camps, that may include Barry J. Nidorf. WestCal Academy maintains a master agreement with Los Angeles County Probation that already lays out our master plan for expansion into additional halls and camps.

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

Promoting apprenticeships that lead to careeers with thriving wages will help families survive economic hardships relating to rising food, housing, and transportation costs.

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

WestCal Academy tracks student career success throughout the pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and career placement stages. We are able to document career and wage progression for our collaborators.

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

Direct Impact: 100

Indirect Impact: 1,000