EWDD General Manager Jan Perry moderated the LA:RISE discussion as chair of the County of Los Angeles Small Business Commission
EWDD staff delivered a presentation about the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) program to the County of Los Angeles Small Business Commission on Wednesday, July 12. The presentation was made to increase awareness in the region’s small business community about the program’s efforts to place the hardest to serve populations in jobs, including the homeless, the formerly incarcerated and disconnected youth.

Launched in 2015, LA:RISE, which is managed by EWDD, is a five-year program that provides integrated services from the City’s Workforce System, social enterprises and retention support providers with the goal of giving participants the personal support services to stabilize their lives to help them maintain employment, such as financial literacy training and healthcare, along with career training services.

Participants begin at transitional jobs with bridge employers to help build up their confidence before moving on to entry level jobs with potential for growth, such as food service, janitorial, street maintenance and office work.

LA:RISE has served approximately 800 people to date and one-third have successfully transitioned to permanent positions.

Initially funded by the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund, the now $10 million program received $5 million for 2017-2018, including $2 million from the City and $3 million from the County. Funding for this program year will provide slots for at least 800 people.

EWDD staff fielded questions about opportunities for small businesses to get involved in LA:RISE, along with suggestions that LA:RISE provide ancillary roles in food service to tech companies to guide participants to jobs in the growing tech sector.

“I appreciate what you’re doing,” said Commissioner Raymond Bishop, who represents the County’s Third District.

The 23-member Small Business Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors and include representatives from the County’s five Supervisorial Districts. The Commission meets quarterly and advises the County Board of Supervisors on how to help LA County businesses grow. EWDD General Manager Jan Perry currently serves as Chair of the Commission.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 7/10/2017. Read this issue and more.