Make Plans Today to HIRE LA’s Youth This Summer

Gary Toebben

April 7, 2015

Employment for young adults continues to decline nationwide and 6 million young adults are neither working nor in school. Research shows that summer jobs encourage young people to graduate from high school and continue their education in a community college, trade school or four-year university. It is the goal of HIRE- LA’s Youth to give thousands of young people in Los Angeles County the opportunity to learn valuable life skills by earning a paycheck this summer. 

Last summer, 20,000 young adults had a summer work experience opportunity through HIRE LA’s Youth, a partnership of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. Now is the time for businesses throughout the L.A. region to make plans for the summer of 2015.

Over the last 10 years, the Chamber has encouraged member companies to provide jobs and internship opportunities for young adults ages 16-24. During 2014, dozens of businesses participated. UPS hired 200 young adults, Vons, a Safeway Company, hired 350 and the YMCA employed nearly 1,200. Since 2006, Kaiser Permanente has been a leading business champion, providing paid summer health care internships for more than 600 high school students.  

Middle-skill jobs — which require education beyond high school — make up the largest segment of the California and U.S. labor markets. In California, 50 percent of all jobs fall into this category, but only 40 percent of California’s workforce have middle-skills training. By making a strong investment in meaningful employment and internship opportunities, you provide early work experiences critical to ensuring that young adults develop workplace and leadership skills needed to succeed in today’s demanding labor market. 

Many L.A. businesses who hire young adults also help them further their education. Last week McDonald’s announced a program of tuition assistance, college credit for training programs and free language classes during paid work hours for employees that speak English as a second language. 

Companies have access to pre-screened, pre-qualified applicants through the Chamber’s Work Readiness Certification process. HIRE LA’s Youth applicants, recruited throughout L.A. County, have the opportunity to earn a Work Readiness Certificate by participating in a mock interview to demonstrate they are work-ready.

You can play an important role in helping us reach our goals this summer. Support the growth of our local economy and the growth of your business by giving young adults the opportunity to learn through work.  Join Mayor Garcetti and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors by contacting Maria Dolores Nieto at the Chamber at 213.580.7599.  You will make the difference of a lifetime for many young adults. 

And that's The Business Perspective.

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