Mayor and L.A. Area Chamber Call on Business Leaders to Provide Employment Opportunities for Youth

May 10, 2013 9:00 am

LOS ANGELES, CA — Today, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce called on business leaders to provide employment opportunities for young adults at the 7th annual HIRE-LA’s Youth Business Breakfast. The business community discussed the importance of developing the future workforce of this region and the impact it will have on the continued economic prosperity of Los Angeles. The program also featured an award ceremony where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was honored with the Distinguished Leader in Youth Employment Award.

Villaraigosa, who has been a champion of youth employment for the past 14 years, spoke to the business community about why he has chosen to lead this effort with the L.A. Area Chamber. “HIRE LA’s mission is critical,” explained the Mayor, “give a kid a job and you give that kid hope.”

The Mayor’s initiative along with the support of the Los Angeles Area Chamber and UNITE-LA has provided 76,000 young adults with internship and employment opportunities over the past eight years. 

“We’ll honor your leadership by building off this foundation and getting more businesses involved,” proclaimed David Rattray, president of UNITE-LA and senior vice president of the Education & Workforce Development division of the Chamber as he presented the award to the Mayor.

The program also included a panel of business leaders from Kaiser Permanente, AT&T and Wells Fargo who provided advice to other business leaders that want to actively recruit young employees through HIRE-LA.

Two major companies spearheaded the business community’s involvement with HIRE-LA; Bank of America donated $100,000 and Wells Fargo donated $70,000 during today’s program to further fund youth employment and encourage other business entities to do the same. Garrett Gin, senior vice president of global marketing & corporate affairs at Bank of America explained, “It’s much better when we are all connected.”

“This is vital to the future economic development of this region,” explained Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. “A group like this can have a major role in developing the workforce that will continue to make business in Los Angeles competitive.”



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


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Ani Okkasian,  213.580.7544