Youth@Work Program Redesign

This month, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) shared with all Youth@Work providers that they have approved an increase in the fiscal amount (slot allocation cost) dedicated per youth who participate in the workforce program from $2,650 to $3,873 for FY 2022-2023. This decision ensures more funding allocated for youth wages, supportive services, case management costs and more.

Prior to this decision, the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), convened by UNITE-LA and the Alliance for Children's Rights, sent a letter sharing "Recommendations for the Youth@Work Budget & Program FY 2022-2023" to Kelly LoBianco, the new Executive Director of the EWDD at WDACS, and some of our recommendations were implemented. Some successes worth noting include the increase of youth hourly wages to $16.04 to match the City's minimum wage, and the number of work hours for youth increased from 120 to 160. The City also plans on retaining the aspirational paradigm of serving 10,000 youth under the Youth@Work umbrella. In support of the required outcomes, all AJCC's will be awarded 80 percent of the available funds to begin the year.

Additionally, over the past several months the L.A. OYC held discussions and brainstorming sessions with Hire LA and Youth Source contractors, to coalesce around recommendations for City and County of Los Angeles workforce leaders on how to strengthen youth work programs.

In 2021, Level Fields Consulting was engaged by LA EWDD's HIRE LA program in an effort to revamp the youth workforce system to better serve young Angelenos and to streamline processes that support broader exposure of the world of work to program participants by releasing the HIRE LA System Review & Revamp Interim Report. In April, we were able to build on earlier conversations and the Hire LA report from Level Fields Consulting to provide additional recommendations for future program redesign efforts to be considered for inclusion  in the FY 22 annual plan. The following recommendations were shared with the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD):

  1. Increase the Number of Hours for Youth and Double Agency Cost Allocation
  2. Remove WIOA Administrative Cap for HIRE LA
  3. Coordinate Data Entry and Systems with L.A. County
  4. Renewed Vision for City's Workforce Development Youth Programs
  5. Enhanced Coordination Between the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles

The "Hire LA Program Redesign Recommendations" letter was well received by the City who then organized a Youth Council Meeting to specifically go over the recommendations that were highlighted in the letter. The Youth Council was supportive of our efforts and urged the City to take the community's input into consideration in the FY 22 annual plan.

The LA OYC continues to have regular conversations with the city and county around the continuous improvement of our youth programs and will continue to organize our partners to ensure our community based recommendations are implemented. For more information, please contact Edgar Castillo, Senior Manager, Workforce Development Policy and Systems, at [email protected].

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