I suspect you can recall your first work experience. Mine was baling hay with neighbors in Nebraska. Linda Sanazaro, Head of Enterprise Operations, Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, started her career as a receptionist. Dennis Rodriguez, Chief City Executive, Siemens Corporation, started his career as a carpet cleaner. In each of these first work experiences, someone gave us an opportunity that was the start of our career path. Now the Chamber is asking you and your business to do the same thing.
Los Angeles businesses and employees compete in a global labor market that depends on a talented workforce. As business leaders, we must be directly engaged in developing that workforce. Summer youth employment and internship opportunities are a major component in helping our young people take that first step. Today, we are asking you to provide that opportunity to L.A. area youth this summer.
Last week, Mayor Garcetti held a news conference at the Chamber offices to kick off this year's HIRE-LA's Youth campaign. The Mayor celebrated the employers who enabled 15,000 youth to experience a job or internship opportunity last year, and he set an even higher bar for the years ahead. The goal: to ensure that 20,000 youth have access to employment and internship opportunities by 2020.
To achieve this goal, the Chamber has launched the L.A. Talent Challenge. We are calling on 500 or more L.A. businesses to provide summer employment and internship opportunities for youth by hiring or sponsoring at least one intern this summer. These jobs and internship opportunities will not only provide valuable early work experience for our young people, they will enable your business to benefit from our collective investment in a highly motivated and well-trained future workforce.
Thank you to those companies who have stepped up to this challenge in past years. We encourage you to expand the number of internships you provide this summer. For those who are new to hiring or hosting an intern, you won't regret stepping up to this challenge. Together we will be strengthening L.A.'s future talent base and bolstering our area's economy. We encourage you to accept the L.A. Talent Challenge today!
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