L.A. Area Chamber Joins Governor Schwarzenegger and Mayor Villaraigosa to Kick off Largest-ever HIRE LA's Youth Campaign with Help of $20.3M Stimulus Investment

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa challenges business community to help put 16,500 L.A. youth to work

May 4, 2009 4:00 am

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce today joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, dozens of civic leaders and hundreds of young adults to kick off the 2009 HIRE L.A.’s Youth campaign, a partnership of the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations.  Mayor Villaraigosa also challenged the business community to help put more youth to work than ever before with the help of a $20.3 million infusion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

“Working together through the HIRE L.A.’s Youth campaign, the City of L.A., the L.A. Area Chamber and our local nonprofits and businesses are getting thousands of young people onto the economic ladder,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  “The success of our efforts has not gone unnoticed, and through the help of this $20.3 million stimulus investment, we will be able to put more youth in good jobs than at any time in the last 15 years.”

Now serving as a model for stimulus-funded youth employment programs across the nation, HIRE L.A.’s Youth connects qualified young adults, age 16-24, with full-time, part-time and/or short or long-term employment opportunities in the City of Los Angeles and provides Los Angeles businesses with qualified entry-level applicants.  Since its inception in 2005, the program has placed 28,000 youth in meaningful employment opportunities with small, medium and large businesses across Los Angeles.

“Even during these difficult economic times, one of the biggest challenges facing employers is finding qualified entry-level workers,” said Daymond Rice, Director, Public Affairs & Government Relations, Vons. “By creating a work-ready pool of applicants for participating businesses to select from, HIRE LA’s Youth addresses this challenge while also helping to strengthen L.A.’s workforce and economy.”

A key component of HIRE LA’s Youth is Work Readiness Certification, which provides youth with a portable credential certifying that they possess the basic skills necessary to obtain and retain employment.  The Work Readiness Certificate is endorsed by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the City Workforce Investment Board and the Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA).

“The L.A. Area Chamber is proud to be a partner in the HIRE L.A.’s Youth campaign,” said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  “We thank the many businesses who are working through the L.A. Area Chamber to pledge youth jobs and put young people to work in our city, particularly during these very difficult economic times.”

HIRE LA’s Youth is made possible in part through the support of sponsors including: Vons; Majestic Realty Co.; and Ralphs.  The newest businesses pledging jobs for youth include: Vons, Sempra, Kaiser Permanente, Warehouse Shoe Sale and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.

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