Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday joined mayors across the state virtually Thursday to launch the $185 million #CaliforniansForAll Youth Job Corps program, which includes $53 million for Los Angeles to provide jobs for underserved youth.
The program is aimed at increasing youth employment and giving them meaningful career paths. It will employ thousands of young Californians between 16 and 30 years old, with intentional hiring of populations identified as being underserved, including low-income and unemployed individuals and people transitioning from foster care, according to California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday.
Participants will be put to work in fields tackling climate change, food insecurity, COVID-19 recovery and other areas aimed at helping the state navigate some of its biggest challenges.
“Over the course of this pandemic, I think we’ve all seen high unemployment, and we’ve seen our vulnerable communities, especially our communities of color, hit extremely hard,” Fryday said. “And we’ve also seen between all of us a collective reexamination, a reevaluation about what it means not just to have a job, but to have a job and a career and a life filled with meaning and dignity and purpose.”
The first phase of the program will give $150 million to the 13 largest cities in California, with funding determined based on the city’s population. Los Angeles, the state’s biggest city, will receive $53 million, Garcetti said. Phase two will give $35 million to counties and smaller cities.
Cities will recruit thousands of residents between 16 and 30 to either build on a youth workforce already developed to create a new youth workforce with jobs that help serve the community. The program’s participants will receive a minimum of $15 an hour, but cities can raise the rate to adjust the needs of the area.
Many of the program’s participants will be given wraparound services, including case management, resume preparation, job training and other benefits, Fryday said.
“California’s dream rests on the shoulders of our talented, brilliant young people who have in the last two years carried a lot of trauma and had to shoulder a lot of burdens. They’re disconnected from their communities, they haven’t spent what we would have experienced with social time with friends. I think there’s a lot for all of us in the last few years that’s taken us off track between the COVID, the economy and so much more,” Garcetti said.
“We are so excited in Los Angeles to be a recipient of $53 million of these funds, and I assure you, Mr. Fryday, that we will put them to work and leverage them, adding our own funds that have allowed us to grow from 5,000 jobs a year for young people to over 20,000 jobs, a fourfold increase just in the time that I’ve been lucky enough to be mayor.”
People can sign up to receive more information about the program at californiavolunteers.ca.gov/youth-jobs-corps.