Workgroup Updates March 2020

L.A .Compact Stewardship Group

The L.A. Compact Stewardship Group is welcoming several new representatives from L.A. Compact signatories:

  • Emy Tzimoulis, Director of the L.A. County CEO Service Integration Branch replaces Harvey Kawasaki after his retirement from the County in February.
  • Monica Banken, Children’s Services Deputy for L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger replaces Maral Karacussian from Supervisor Hahn’s office.
  • Jose Gonzalez, Director of Community Schools Development at LACOE replaces Erika Torres who has been appointed the new County Administrator for Inglewood USD.

LAUSD Community Schools Steering Committee

  • Created an ad hoc workgroup to advise on the roll out of a revised application process for a second cohort of schools to undergo a Community School designation process.
  • 17 schools in Cohort I began the Community School designation process at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year and an additional 13 will be selected across L.A. Unified in Cohort II to begin in August 2020.
  • Applications for Cohort II are due April 27, and selected schools will be announced in early May. Interested school teams are invited to participate in an application workshop on March 28, co-led by L.A. Unified and UTLA.
  • UTLA and L.A. Unified are collaborating on a professional learning community for Community School Coordinators working at the 17 Cohort I schools to support the schools in advancing the four pillars of the Community School model and achieving key benchmarks in the Community School designation process, including a needs and assets assessment with school and community stakeholders. The four pillars of the Community School model are:
    • Integrated student supports
    • Expanded and enriched learning time
    • Family and community engagement
    • Collaborative leadership and practice

Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Collaborative

-Los Angeles Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) 

  • The LAEPP hosted a data sharing webinar where our IHE partners, in real time, pulled their teacher candidate data identifying teachers credentialled in STEM fields. Each IHE saved their data to their own devices; all IHEs are now ready to share the data with LAUSD once the new MOUs are in place.
  • The new MOU between LAUSD and the IHEs has been approved by LAUSD General Counsel. Our LAUSD LAEPP co-convener is now working with LAUSD Procurement to get district signatures.   

-Student Success Workgroup

  • The Student Success Workgroup met in January to discuss early planning for a system or regional enrollment management throughout Los Angeles. The SSWG believes that by leveraging existing internal and external efforts in college access and persistence and pairing them with new initiatives and policy changes, then a better system for assuring Los Angeles-based students can earn a degree in the region is attainable. 

-CSUN Connections

  • The CSUN Connections planning team met in January and February to discuss the year ahead. The planning team plans to leverage investments from the Lumina Foundation to engage with regional employers and create a guide to enact reverse transfer throughout the region.

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

  • As a member of the Child Care Planning Committee, UNITE-LA participated in the Joint Retreat of the Child Care Planning Committee and Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development on January 21. The retreat marks the first of several conversations to come to develop an implementation framework for the county’s first-ever unified strategic plan for early care and education, which will focus on:
    • increasing access to early care and education
    • strengthening the quality of early care and education services
    • improving supports for the early care and education workforce
    • increasing family and community engagement in early care and education issues

Spearheaded by the Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education, the design of the implementation plan will be informed by early care and education providers, county agencies and community partners. 

L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights

-Foster Youth at Work., convened by UNITE-LA & Alliance for Children’s Rights

  • UNITE-LA worked with Harder + Co Community Research to complete gathering stakeholder feedback on the implementation of a coordinated referral process for foster youth to workforce programs in 2019. After completing nearly a dozen interviews in the fall with a diverse set of DCFS and workforce stakeholders, we completed two online surveys with youth and a focus group with L.A. City YouthSource contractors in January. The feedback will inform the development of a case study with highlights, lessons learned, and recommendations to be finalized in April.
  • A group of workforce and child welfare leaders continued to meet in February to advance implementation of an Operational Agreement for System-Involved Youth. The group has begun brainstorming challenges and opportunities to achieving the three goals of the operational agreement:
    • GOAL 1: By the age of 16, foster and juvenile justice involved youth shall have completed 100 hours of work experience;
    • GOAL 2: By the age of 18, foster and juvenile justice involved youth shall have completed 300 hours of work experience;
    • GOAL 3: By the age of 21, foster and juvenile justice involved youth shall have graduated from high school, have permanent housing, and be connected to postsecondary education and/or have unsubsidized employment earning a living wage.
  • In March and April, the group will be focused on developing a common definition of “foster youth” and solidifying specific strategies that can be tested this summer.

-OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Project, convened by John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY)

JBAY provided two train-the-trainers to over 127 DCFS and Probation contracted Foster Family Agencies (FFA) and Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTP) throughout L.A. County on the new Turning Dreams into Degrees curriculum. This curriculum, created in partnership with UNITE-LA, is designed to equip and empower caregivers with youth in their care between the ages of 12 and 19 to support postsecondary education. As of March 1, STRTP’s in L.A. County are now required to provide this training to their staff in an effort to increase postsecondary education attainment for foster youth. Similar efforts are underway for FFA’s as well. These efforts are an expansion of a similar training requirement that was implemented in April 2019 for Resource Families served by DCFS.

L.A. Workforce Systems Collaborative (LAWSC)

Supporting development of apprenticeship programs in non-traditional sectors as well as scaling and sustaining existing apprenticeships in the region continues to be a priority for LAWSC members. Based on conversations at the LAWSC, a group of intermediaries including Bixel Exchange at the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, Goodwill Southern California, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and UNITE-LA are working together to strengthen apprenticeship efforts in the region by leveraging existing work to strengthen capacity across training systems and institutions by sharing best practices and facilitating innovative partnerships. 

Addressing reductions to regional allocations of state funding for workforce development

In late 2019, the state California Community College system changed its interpretation of the Strong Workforce Program funding formula which resulted in 29.5 percent cuts to the L.A. and Orange Counties’ regional allotment. Based on this change and steady reductions in WIOA funding allocations to the seven local Workforce Development Boards over the last several years, the Systems Collaborative is engaging in conversations about addressing how formulas are calculated for the 2021 allocations.  

Brainstorming to provide paid work experience to undocumented L.A. College Promise students

At the February meeting, the LAWSC began an initial brainstorm of possible strategies to provide paid work experience for undocumented students participating in the L.A. College Promise program. This conversation was generated from a request by DREAM Center leads at the nine Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) campuses in a meeting with the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Mayor, the Mayor’s Fund for L.A., the Los Angeles Community College District and the City of L.A.’s Economic and Workforce Development Department are launching “L.A. College Promise Works” to connect College Promise students to employment and high-quality career pathways. However, supporting undocumented college promise students who do not have access to DACA to have access to the same type of paid work experience will be a critical challenge to address.

Tracking developments of the California Cradle-to-Career Data System

In 2019, the process for developing the state longitudinal data system began and the Systems Collaborative will continue to track and provide input into implementation, primarily through UNITE-LA’s participation in the Practice and Operations Advisory Group convened by the Governor’s Office of Research and Planning

Health Sector Collaborative (HSC)

Mapping Work-Based Learning programs in L.A. to strengthen the local health care talent pipeline

During the January meeting, Rebecca Ratzkin, Director of Research and Policy at Community Health Councils presented findings from a 2018 CHC report about how to create a youth of color workforce pipeline for the health sector. Based on discussion, the HSC is working to compile a list of health care work-based learning programs in the region that take place throughout the year to better work collectively to strengthen the health care talent pipeline through promotions and referrals.

Successful partnership to support LAUSD School Nurse recruitment continues

In February 2020, LAUSD, the Office of Mayor Garcetti, California Community Colleges’ Health Workforce Initiative and UNITE-LA partnered again to host a second School Nurse Hiring event at L.A. City College resulting in 35 offers being made. Since beginning to work together in May 2019, this partnership has yielded 54 of 73 LAUSD school nurse hires following the expansion of these positions in January 2019. The candidates are largely graduates from local post-secondary institutions, including community colleges that LAUSD had not extensively recruited from prior to this partnership. The partners are moving forward on planning another event in June 2020 in addition to exploring medium and long-term strategies to meet current and projected demand for LAUSD school nurses. 


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