LA Fellows logo, "Career Growth Through Specialized Training and Volunteerism"
Twenty people graduated from the Los Angeles Valley College LA Fellows Program on October 27, 2017, a nine-week job training and professional development program that allows participants to share their expertise at local nonprofit organizations while seeking full-time employment.

Approximately 430 people have completed the program. On average, participants are in their early 50s and have been unemployed or underemployed for 31 months. Participants come from an array of job fields including: education, mental health, finance, human resources, technology, entertainment, and nonprofit.

Elizabeth Gilbert, 60, graduate of the LA Fellows Program

Elizabeth Gilbert, 60

Elizabeth Gilbert is a transgender woman who had not had to seek a job in her former field since before her medical transition.

She wasn’t sure how to talk about the first 30 years of her work experience, which was under a different name.

Elizabeth embraced and applied lessons from the program, and distinguished herself among her classmates as a go-to person for thoughtful advice. In a secret ballot, Elizabeth was elected to be one of speakers representing the class at graduation.

In addition to a contract photography job she landed with the Disney Company after starting the program, Elizabeth has secured an offer with the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, in line with her expertise as a CRM Administrator.

Kevin Ralph, 52, graduate of the LA Fellows Program

Kevin Ralph, 52

Kevin Ralph is a Human Resources Director who has worked in the field for more than 20 years.

When his last position ended, Kevin assumed it would be easy to find another role, given his expertise. Kevin struggled to get interviews and the ones that he did get did not lead to offers.

In the LA Fellows program, Kevin demonstrated his leadership abilities to his fellow students and provided coaching. Kevin learned a great deal from the program, and speaks highly of the instructors.

Kevin recently landed a position as Director of HR for the CLARE Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides addiction treatment and recovery services.

EWDD: Helping Vulnerable and Under-Represented Populations

In 2016, the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board (WDB), in partnership with the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), set aside a $750,000 grant to increase workforce training opportunities for Vulnerable and Underrepresented Populations (VUP). Working with community-based organizations, the VUP Program is designed to help transgender and gender non-conforming workers, older workers, men of color, ex-offenders, homeless youth, single parents and linguistically isolated adults.

This success story is highlighted in the EWDD Updates Newsletter from the week of 11/6/2017, representing all the WorkSource Centers and the vital services they provide each day.

Learn more about EWDD Employment Services and WorkSource Centers