Ivor Bok poses beside Metro city buses
EWDD premiered two inspirational social media videos this week featuring Ivor Bok, a graduate of the Metro Bridge Academy at Los Angeles Valley College who shares his trajectory from job seeker to bus operator at Metro.

“My family is my ‘why’ and I suggest that you find your ‘why’,” he said. “I know all of you have a reason, a ‘why’, mine was my family.”

Funded by EWDD, the Metro Bridge Academy is a 70-hour training program that prepares

(far right) EWDD Management Assistant Firdaus Landou talks to interested youth and parents about the EWDD YouthSource program
Approximately 40 attendees from the Women’s History Month event March 8, 2019 at the Getty House stopped by the EWDD YouthSource table to learn about the City’s 14 YouthSource Centers.

Management Assistant Firdaus Landou and Youth Employment Specialist Irene Diaz provided information about the services available at the City’s YouthSource Centers.

LA:RISE program participant Valorie poses in cap and gown after earning her GED
The LA:RISE program helped Valorie, a mother of three, earn her GED and receive training to excel in an office environment, bringing her closer to meeting her goal – to give her family a better life. LA:RISE (Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise) is a program designed to help at-risk and vulnerable individuals overcome challenges to employment through education, skills training and mentoring.

Before discovering LA:RISE, Valorie was eager to find a job and complete her education, but after experiencing homelessness, substance abuse challenges, and dropping out of school, she faced significant barriers to employment.

LAYOM Watts intern Daize Ayon, future manager of the “The Wardrobe” poses with the rolling racks of new clothes
The Southeast Los Angeles Youth Opportunity Movement Watts (LAYOM Watts) YouthSource Center broke ground Saturday March 2, 2019 on “The Wardrobe”, a clothes closet where underserved youth will be able to obtain professional clothing for job interviews and work.

Volunteers from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the Local Union Number Eleven International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers donated their time and labor to demolish a defunct boy’s locker room and begin transforming it into a boutique-like shop with hardware and fixtures.

Para Los Niños YouthSource participants on a tour of the University of California, Los Angeles campus while attending the 2019 Raza Youth Conference
EWDD partner Para Los Niños operates both the Central and Northeast Los Angeles YouthSource Centers. Their name means “for the children,” and was founded so that no child would be forgotten. To that end, their mission is to foster pathways to success through promoting education, cultivating powerful families, and building strong neighborhoods for youth to thrive.

The following three stories from their YouthSource centers illustrate the positive work they do for the youth community in LA.

Ana Olivia Alvarado, co-owner of Carlo's House Keeper, at work
The Mid-City Region BusinessSource Center helped long-term clients Carlos Castro Pacheco and Ana Oliva Alvarado obtain a $3,000 mini-Microloan to purchase additional equipment for their business, Carlo’s House Keeper. Carlos and Ana provide a niche service specializing in cleaning houses and rental apartments up for sale.

Established in 2017, Carlo’s House Keeper launched with a $2,000 start-up loan obtained with help from the Mid-City Region BusinessSource. The service discovered

The exterior of Bloom & Plume Coffee in Historic Filipinotown
The Harbor BusinessSource Center helped long-term clients, entrepreneurs and brothers Moses and Maurice Harris open Bloom & Plume Coffee at 1638 West Temple Street in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown neighborhood.

Moses was first referred to the Harbor BusinessSource in early 2018. At the time, Moses and his brother Maurice co-owned the Bloom & Plume floral studio and wanted to create a neighborhood coffee shop to display their work.

Selam Patterson in the children's book section of the Los Angeles Public Library in South LA
After moving to Los Angeles from Ethiopia, Selam Patterson had a hard time finding a job, until a friend at church referred her to the Downtown/Pico Union WorkSource Center, an experience she said opened up possibilities she never imagined, including finding a job with the City of LA.

“With this opportunity, my life changed,” she said. “I feel financial secure and it was a start to lead my life to the right direction.”

Selam currently works as an Admin Clerk for the Los Angeles Public Library in South LA. It’s a position she’s held for more than a year.

Pamela Stokes (center) went through the South Los Angeles WorkSource Center to join the Targeted Local Hire Program and now works as an Administrative Clerk for LAWA
EWDD’s WorkSource Centers were honored at a special presentation Tuesday February 26, 2019 at City Hall celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Targeted Local Hire Program (TLHP).

Nine of EWDD’s WorkSource Centers are credited with processing the approximately 5,653 active applicants into the program, which offers underserved and underemployed Angelenos an opportunity for an alternative pathway to civil service careers at the City of LA.

Sound engineers Francois Blaignan and Sirinun Ploadpilew, owners of Tinitus Inc, in their LA studio
The Central West Region BusinessSource Center helped entrepreneurs Francois Blaignan and Sirinun Ploadpilew, owners of Tinitus Inc., obtain a $50,000 Small Business Administration microloan to refinance a high interest debt and renovate two music studios.

Francois’ work has been featured in TV commercials and he currently has contracts with Apple, Beats, Nike and Uber, along with work for feature films and music production.

Youth Opportunity Movement staff Hugh Carter (second from left) and Theresa Cordero (second from right) traveled with members of the Southeast YouthSource Watts Youth Council to the Young Worker Leadership Academy at UC Berkeley
Four members of the Southeast YouthSource Center Watts Youth Council, who were selected to represent Southern California, recently attended the Young Worker Leadership Academy held at the University of California, Berkeley.

According to staff from the Youth Opportunity Watts (YOM) YouthSource Center, attending the Academy was a great experience for the youth, who learned about workplace topics including toxic chemicals, hazards, harassment, and health and safety.

(left to right) EWDD Interim General Manager John L Reamer, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, Hire LA’s Youth participant Destiny Nguyen, and and Jorge Orozco, Director of Youth Workforce Services at Para Los Niños
Nine out of the dozen participants invited to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s intimate Hire LA’s Youth roundtable discussion on Wednesday February 20, 2019, had ties to EWDD through YouthSource or WorkSource Centers or through an EWDD partnership initiative.

“The event was amazing!” said Destiny Nguyen, who worked at the Para Los Niños Central Region YouthSource Center through the Hire LA’s Youth program and now currently works at EWDD.