UNITE-LA Today: A Step Forward for System-Involved Individuals

UNITE-LA has partnered with the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) to lead a dual project to advance tech sector fair chance hiring in Los Angeles. The first project objective is to build a cohort of L.A. employers committed and prepared to recruit, hire and retain system-involved individuals (SIIs) in the tech, digital media, arts, entertainment and app-based services sectors, and the second objective is to improve programs and supports to serve as on-ramps for SIIs entering jobs and career pathways in the above industries.

To address the first objective, UNITE-LA is now recruiting business decision makers to its Step into Tech Business Accelerator, a six-week leadership course launching Aug. 24. The program aims to inform and influence large-scale systemic change for critical populations and encourage the adoption of Smart Justice and Fair Chance Hiring practices by providing employers the education and resources needed to inform HR practices related to understanding SIIs and the recruitment, hiring and retaining of this population.

The Step into Tech: A Pathway Forward trainee program is a five-week program launching Sept. 13 created to address the second objective. UNITE-LA along with ODR are now recruiting SSIs, ages 18 and older, and will be providing participants with virtual, work-based learning opportunities and exposing them to high-growth, high-demand careers and training opportunities in technology.

The trainee program is designed to run alongside the Business Accelerator providing employers opportunities to engage with and learn from SIIs; at the same time, providing trainees the opportunity to network, learn and build relationships with employers in the field in which they are pursuing a career. 

On July 20, UNITE-LA held its first Step into Tech Business Accelerator information session and welcomed our partners from the ODR and L.A.-based companies including AEG Worldwide, Create Music Group, Yiya International, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Boingo, IH Communications and One Ten. 

Want to know more or interested in learning how to participate? Please reach out to Step into Tech Program Lead Ilia Lopez, Senior Manager of Inclusion and Community Partnerships, and/or Business Accelerator co-lead Christina Lopez, Senior Manager Education Business Coalitions, with questions and for more information.

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