Partner Spotlight: Economic & Workforce Development Department

This month, UNITE-LA is shining a bright light on our longtime partners at the Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD). In 2013, the Los Angeles Mayor and L.A. City Council launched EWDD as a modern, more efficient way for people to do business in the City of Los Angeles and to create more economically vibrant neighborhoods. (Prior to July 2013, EWDD's workforce and business functions were part of the city's Community Development Department.)

Led by Carolyn Hull, General Manager, EWDD provides a broad range of programs including business support, employment and youth development. These programs help grow and improve L.A.'s economy while building a well-trained, job-ready workforce. From Hire LA's Youth to South L.A. Scholars to L.A. Cash for College, their support is invaluable to not only UNITE-LA, but also to the youth we serve! Read on to find out all the ways EWDD partners with UNITE-LA for continued success around advancing goals for our youth!

While we have worked with the City for more than 20 years in partnering to spur jobs and internships for students in L.A., it is the last 10 years that UNITE-LA has served as the private-sector intermediary for EWDD’s highly successful Hire LA's Youth Summer Employment campaign. In partnership with Hire LA's Youth, our Summer Youth Employment Program provides young Angelenos, especially those with higher barriers to employment, with invaluable work-based learning activities that help them transition through the stages of career awareness, exposure, exploration, preparation, training and finally subsidized paid work experience—oftentimes their first.

Additionally, UNITE-LA's Workforce Development and Career Pathways programs also partner with EWDD's 16 citywide YouthSource Centers in providing our youth participants with essential career education and training services, resources and vital wraparound support. The YouthSource Centers place special emphasis on serving disconnected youth, ages 16 to 24, who are neither in school nor working.

EWDD has also been instrumental in the ongoing success of L.A. Cash for College, the largest college access and financial aid campaign in Greater L.A., providing youth with information and resources to pursue and persist in postsecondary education. With EWDD's support, and in partnership with the California Student Aid Commission, L.A. Cash for College has helped more than 300,000 youth, particularly low-income youth of color, prepare for college, apply for financial aid and leverage more than $1.2 billion in financial aid support.

In 2017, as part of our Health Care Pathways, UNITE-LA launched its South L.A. Scholars (SLAS) program in partnership with EWDD, the L.A. Mayor’s Office and L.A. Unified School District. SLAS was a response to local demand for greater representation of people of color within the health care system and to provide students in South L.A. with more equitable career pathways in health care.

UNITE-LA is grateful to EWDD for their critical role in the success of UNITE-LA's programming for youth in marginalized communities, and we look forward to doing even more together in the future!

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