LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced today that its foundation has received an $800,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation that will be used to create an additional 447 summer jobs for local youth.
The L.A. Area Chamber is a key partner in the City’s HIRE LA’s Youth summer jobs campaign, which places young adults 16-21 in entry-level jobs. The Chamber actively recruits employers within its membership to not only provide jobs, but get involved in Jobs Skills Workshops and Work Readiness Certification sessions where youth are prepared for entry-level work.
“We’re really grateful to Walmart because every year it’s been a challenge figuring out how to increase the number of job opportunities for youth,” said L.A. Area Chamber Senior Vice President David Rattray. “Companies like Walmart truly make the difference … If they didn’t step up, less youth would have the ability to benefit from this positive summer work experience.”
The $800,000 grant awarded to the Chamber Foundation is part of more than $20 million in grants awarded to six nonprofits for meals, learning programs and summer jobs that will benefit 180,000 kids in 350 communities nationwide.
“At Walmart, we recognize the need to support the development of our nation’s youth,” said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation. “We know that providing access to job opportunities and skills training during the summer months will allow students to return to school healthy, prepared and ready to succeed. By working closely with the L.A. Area Chamber, we can help kids have better summers and ultimately, better lives.”
Last summer, America’s future workforce was shortchanged as youth employment numbers fell to record lows. Forty-eight percent of youth between the ages of 16-24 were employed in July, the month when youth employment usually peaks. This is significantly lower than the 59.2 percent of youth who were employed five years ago and 63.3 percent of youth who were employed 10 years ago.
In response, the White House announced Summer Jobs+ 2012, calling on businesses nationwide to help provide job opportunities for youth. In Los Angeles, the Chamber has been working with the City of Los Angeles, the Workforce Investment Board and other partners on HIRE LA’s Youth since 2006.
HIRE LA’s Youth is also sponsored by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank and Ralphs.
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.