(left to right) EWDD Interim General Manager John L Reamer, Jr, REDF Principal Consultant Strategic Partnerships Vivienne Lee, LA Workforce Development Board Chair Charlie Woo, and EWDD Assistant General Manager Robert Sainz
The Center at Cathedral Plaza was packed Monday September 30, 2019 for “A Pathway Forward: Homeless to Hired Summit,” an event celebrating the fifth year of the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE).

The event, held by LA:RISE partner the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), commemorated the launch of the fifth year of the program, which has successfully placed more than 2,500 participants in subsidized or transitional employment, including 950 participants that have successfully made the leap from transitional employment to permanent employment.

Following opening remarks from Deputy Mayor Brenda Shockley and Councilmember Mike Bonin, EWDD Interim General Manager John L Reamer, Jr, addressed the audience, where he recognized the LA:RISE partners for their collaborative efforts to provide services to help LA:RISE participants overcome barriers to succeed.

“We are partnering and we are bringing hope to the lives of those who feel that no one cares. And when you do that, you are definitely transforming,” he said. “You are transforming the lives of individuals one hour at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time, because for many of us that’s all it takes. Once we get started transitioning back to that highway of hope, the sky is the limit.”

LA:RISE – A social enterprise solution to help join the workforce

EWDD is a leadership team partner of LA:RISE, an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the City and County of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development System (WDS) with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help men and women with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed. The City’s WorkSource Centers and LA:RISE prioritize 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. After working in a transitional job at a social enterprise and leveraging training and services from the WorkSource Center, LA:RISE participants are placed at jobs in the private sector, in public-sector jobs in the City of LA, or in vocational training programs.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of September 30, 2019. Read this issue and more.