Eric Garcetti - Photo courtesy of @MayorOfLA on Twitter

Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials Monday celebrated the city receiving $53.3 million in state funding for youth workforce development programs through the $185 million statewide #CaliforniansForAll Youth Job Corps program, which will provide jobs for underserved youth.

At a news conference in front of the Tiny DOTs Early Education Center on Monday, Garcetti said the funding will help “connect the dots” for young people. The funding is expected to help over 4,000 Angelenos between the ages of 16 and 30 find jobs, funding 14 programs across five city departments.

Garcetti emphasized the grants come at a critical time because the city is facing a shortage of workers in childcare. It is a problem of “us needing that care help, but not having enough people to provide that care — of having the funding, finally, but not the people,” according to Garcetti.

He added: “This is what this is about, bringing together the young people who are the brilliant seeds of the flowers that will come in the future but who also understand they will be serving in their own community.”

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, 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.

The following programs will receive funding through the grants:

1. Clean L.A.

2. Edible Food Waste Recovery

3. L.A. Community Composting

4. L.A. River Rangers

5. Teen Parent Prosper Project

6. LA:RISE Youth Academy

7. South L.A. Non-profit Apprenticeship Program

8. Angeleno Corps

9. Early Childhood Education Student Advancement Project

10. City Pathways

11. Student to Student Success Program

12. Youth & Community Harvest Internship Program

13. Youth Hospitality Training Academy

14. Summer Night Lights

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 more than $53 million. 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.

“With this investment we are saying to those young people that we value you,” Fryday said. “We think that you have something important to contribute. Not only do we think, we know you have something important to contribute.”

Coucilman Kevin de León said the investment will also help Los Angeles reduce the school to prison pipeline.

“This is a sad reality,” de León said. “L.A. and many other cities throughout the state of California — when it comes to communities of color, we have been a pipeline. Not to the community colleges, not to the UCs or Cal States, but rather to the California correctional facilities. … That’s why this investment is a huge investment.”

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