EWDD General Manager Jan Perry addressing a packed crowd at an LA:RISE event sponsored by partner REDF
More than 200 people packed the Edward R. Roybal Room at City Hall Thursday October 4, 2018, to hear the results from an interim evaluation of the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) program.

Initial results confirmed that the program is working, according to “Bringing Together Social Enterprise and Workforce Development System Agencies to Deliver Transitional Employment,” a report funded by the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) and prepared by consultant Social Policy Research Associates (SPR).

EWDD is a leadership team partner of the program and is responsible for making sure the City’s WorkSource Centers prioritize LA:RISE priority populations, including individuals recently released from prison, the unsheltered or those at risk of homelessness and youth ages 18-24 who are neither in school or working.

The event was held by LA:RISE leadership team partner REDF, a non-profit organization dedicated to investing in social enterprise businesses.

EWDD General Manager Jan Perry thanked partners REDF, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, along with multiple social enterprises whose involvement contributed to the initial success of the program.

“This partnership has spurred and stimulated growth and allowed us to take our City Workforce Development System to better serve people who really need to be met where they are, people who are vulnerable, to give them the services that they need and give them confidence so that they can move forward with their lives,” she said.

Jan also acknowledged EWDD partners Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), Goodwill Southern California, the Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles (AYE) and UCLA for enrolling participants in the LA:RISE program through the Northeast LA and Vernon-Central/Los Angeles Technical Trade College WorkSource Centers, and South and West Region YouthSource Centers.

One example of the program’s success is Anthony Jackson, who first learned about the LA:RISE program while enrolled in the South Region YouthSource Center program, run by CRCD. With the help of LA:RISE Anthony turned away from gang activity and is now a supervisor at CRCD Enterprises, its construction social enterprise.

“Without organizations like REDF and CRCD, honestly, I don’t know where I’d be,” he said. “Because of programs like LA:RISE and the Vernon-Central network that connect young individuals back into employment, education and endless services, we are able to dream again.”

To find out about the various services that EWDD offers, visit our Employment Services and Youth Services pages.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of October 8, 2018. Read this issue and more.