Research Reports

Research Reports

Charting Progress Toward L.A. Compact Goals

The L.A. Compact's first-ever, online data dashboard provides a comprehensive picture of how children and youth are doing in the region, from cradle to career.

Explore the dashboard

Empowering L.A. Parenting Students for College Success

UNITE-LA’s Research and Evaluation team investigated supports, challenges and opportunities for L.A. County’s parenting college students, a vital yet historically underserved group. Conducted in late 2022 and 2023, our research coincided with earlystage implementation of Assembly Bill 2881, which mandated improved support for these students in California’s public higher education institutions (IHEs). This study illuminates IHE supports and challenges for parenting students and provides data-driven recommendations to increase equity and improve college attainment.

Read more

Fostering Statewide Prosperity Through California’s Opportunity Youth

Youth disconnection from work and school is a crisis that requires urgent action, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated youth disconnection and erased years of progress. The California Legislature cannot afford to overlook the significant, moral imperative and the economic benefits our communities can reap by investing in the state’s opportunity youth.

Fostering Statewide Prosperity Through California's Opportunity Youth explores 2021 youth disconnection data and highlights the urgent need to engage California’s opportunity youth populations and create policies that invest in talent development for youth.

Read more

Business Organizations as Education & Workforce Advocacy Champions

UNITE-LA conducted its 2023 inaugural Business Interest Policy Survey to gain insight on the policy interests of 28 business organization partners throughout Los Angeles County and California, with a focus on cradle-through-career education and workforce development (EDWD) issues. Key findings indicate that almost all of our business partners are currently engaged in work surrounding EDWD policy issues; yet most experience capacity limits on staff time dedicated to EDWD work. The survey identifies key EDWD areas of interest, as well as supports that would aid business organizations in increasing engagement. The survey findings inform a set of recommendations for business organizations to advance EDWD work.

Read more

Talent Needs of L.A. Area Tech Employers

In the spring of 2022, UNITE-LA led an informational survey of Los Angeles area employers in technology-related firms to learn about their needs, challenges and priorities in recruiting and retaining workers. The survey was developed by UNITE-LA in partnership with the L.A. County Justice Care and Opportunities Department (JCOD), formerly the Office of Diversion and Reentry, and included specific questions on inclusive hiring policies and practices that may support workers who have prior involvement with the criminal legal system.

Results for our survey of 21 tech employers are presented in this report, with brief narrative summaries of select, key results in the following areas: organization type; individual respondent’s hiring and human resources (HR) influence; talent needs and challenges; inclusivity commitments; and employers’ approach to hiring systems-involved individuals (SII).

Read more

Employment of Systems-Involved Angelenos

In early 2022, UNITE-LA led an informational survey, Employment Issues for Angelenos, for those who have a previous record of arrest or conviction. This data collection effort discerns employment histories, challenges and aspirations of this population—particularly for tech careers—and includes data on individual demographics.

The survey was developed by UNITE-LA in partnership with the L.A. County Justice Care and Opportunities Department (JCOD), formerly the Office of Diversion and Reentry, the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LAARP) and SECTOR.

Results are presented in this report, with brief narrative summaries of select, key results in the following areas: demographics; education, life circumstances; job search and challenges individuals associated with our workforce programming.

Read more

Policy Agenda 2022-2027: A Coordinated System from Cradle-Through-Career in California

2022-Policy_Agenda-3.jpgCalifornia’s public servants, including the Governor, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and State Legislators, have a significant responsibility and will have the power to uplift millions of Californians and brighten their futures.

The past few years have been marked by both incredible struggle for California’s children, families, and residents; and important progress towards better policies and systems change to serve them. Notably, the $2.7 billion investment in Universal Transitional Kindergarten; $3 billion one- time Prop 98 investments for the expansion of Community Schools throughout California; $1 billion investment for the Learning-Aligned Employment Program and Golden State Education and Training Program to support students and adult workers; Development of and initial implementation funding for Recovery with Equity: A Roadmap for Higher Education After the Pandemic; and legislation and investments to establish a statewide, longitudinal data system for California all demonstrate the state’s commitment to a cradle-through-career policy agenda. While these successes should be celebrated, significant work remains.

We are all responsible for transforming our institutions and systems so they support all students to reach their full potential. This necessitates a cradle-through-career approach to ensure California’s education and workforce systems are focused on racial and social justice, and are better coordinated — from cradle through career — to create a seamless path for students across the whole developmental spectrum.

Read more

Postsecondary Planning and Success: Real Voices, Shared Experiences

The goal of this qualitative research effort was to bring to the forefront the many voices and experiences from those most directly involved with high school students through the milestones leading to postsecondary success. As high school students are generally informed of graduation requirements at their respective schools, the strategies and activities geared toward helping students decide their path for after graduation may vary due to staffing, funding, or the need for better organization.

This qualitative research report stemmed from the collaborative project involving the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and UNITE-LA, "Got a Plan for That? Removing Barriers to College and Career Success" through LAUSD and Community Partnership.

Read more

Strengthening Regional Economies by Investing in the Education of English/ Dual Language Learners

22_ELL_DLL_One_Pager_1.jpgEnglish/Dual Language Learners (EL/DLL) programs in California are a critical vehicle for remaining the fifth largest economy in the world and accomplishing the state’s Global California 2030 goals, which look to equip students with the tools to ensure all Californians can thrive and succeed in the global economy.

Read more

Landscape Analysis of Tools and Resources for Postsecondary Planning and Financial Aid Form Completion

The current landscape review is one component of a collaborative project involving UNITE-LA and LAUSD, "Got a Plan for That? Removing Barriers to College and Career Success" through LAUSD and Community Partnership.

ERC conducted the following landscape review with the purpose of providing LAUSD and the Advisory Group with information on tools and systems used internally and across the region that support students with their postsecondary efforts. The information will also highlight effective practices and strategies which may be utilized by the district.

Read more

Improving Equitable Employment Outcomes for Transition-Age Foster Youth in L.A. County

oyc_study_image.jpgIn July, the L.A. Compact, convened by UNITE-LA, together with the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, released a case study detailing its efforts to connect foster youth to public workforce programs in L.A. County using a shared referral process across agencies. This brief describes the development and implementation of a process to coordinate and streamline foster youth referrals to workforce programs and includes specific recommendations for process improvement based on feedback from both network partners and foster youth themselves.

Read more