Opening the Door for Opportunity Youth

Gary Toebben

August 29, 2017

For the past 10 years, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has championed career exploration and employment for youth and young adults.

While many L.A. employers struggle to fill jobs, nearly 170,000 young people ages 18-24 in L.A. County are not in school or working. This population, known as Opportunity Youth, includes some of our most vulnerable young people who are homeless, foster or court-involved. Without appropriate intervention, their disconnection with school or work continues, and results in a significant loss of economic opportunity and human capital.

The Chamber and our partners are focused on reengaging these Opportunity Youth and we are starting to make progress. In 2000, one in five young adults was disconnected from school and work in the City of L.A. Today that number has dropped to one in six. We’re headed in the right direction, but we need to accelerate our progress.

In early August, the Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot, led by the City of L.A., the County of L.A., Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles Community College District, local California State Universities, Los Angeles Housing Service Agency, the Chamber and more than 50 philanthropic and community-based organizations released its Strategic Plan. It is an unprecedented effort to coordinate and integrate the delivery of education, workforce development and social services to Opportunity Youth.

This commitment by the City, County, school districts, higher educational institutions, employers and community-based partners to share resources and develop a collaborative plan will be key to helping thousands of young Angelenos realize a better future for themselves and their families. It will also yield a better collective future for our region.

We applaud the Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot for its leadership and commitment. The work of these partners will help our most vulnerable populations break the cycle of poverty, create a pathway to economic and social mobility and contribute to the economic prosperity of our region. Click here if you want to find out how to help.

And that's The Business Perspective.

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