LAWSC Engages in Federal Joint Advocacy and Local Efforts to Support Students and Workers

Despite the slow reopening of the economy, the unemployment rate in L.A. county is 10.6 percent, which is well-above the national rate (6.3 percent) and California’s rate (9 percent). Black and Latinx Angelenos have been disproportionately impacted as they were more likely to be employed in industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality and retail. To address these and other challenges, the L.A. Workforce Systems Collaborative (LAWSC) jointly advocated for federal infrastructure and workforce development investments. They also updated their outreach materials to ensure unemployed L.A. residents have access to the most current information on applying for unemployment insurance benefits.

On Feb. 19, the LAWSC sent a letter to President Biden with recommendations for the next stimulus package focused on the recovery he promised. The letter expressed support for the recently passed $1.9 trillion rescue plan while focusing on specific suggestions to:

  • improve communities and stimulate the economy through infrastructure investments, and 
  • develop an accompanying comprehensive workforce development strategy to ensure students and workers are better prepared for in-demand jobs.

In the letter, the LAWSC emphasized the need to prioritize supporting workers who disproportionately lost jobs and wages due to the pandemic - women, people of color, opportunity youth (youth and young adults disconnected from school and work and/or are systems-involved), and those who experience systemic barriers to living wage employment.

In addition, LAWSC partners updated their outreach materials so that unemployed City of L.A. residents have the most current information on how to access unemployment assistance. Unemployment insurance benefits expired on Dec. 26 but were renewed by Congress for 2021. This flyer (Spanish or English) contains updated information on unemployment insurance benefits and a list of WorkSource Centers that residents can call to make in-person appointments to get help filing for unemployment benefits. Hard copies of the flyer are being distributed at the City of L.A.’s FamilySource Centers, homeless shelters, and food banks to reach individuals who lack internet access. 

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For more information on these efforts and the LAWSC, please contact Heddy Nam, Sr. Director of Workforce Development, at [email protected].

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