portrait photo of LA:RISE participant Brená who received job training that led to a full-time position with the YWCA Greater Los Angeles
EWDD is a leadership team partner of the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE), an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the City and County of LA’s Workforce Development System 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 following two stories illustrate the success of the LA:RISE program, made possible through the efforts of EWDD, our partner agencies, and the LA:RISE clients.

LA:RISE Participant Receives Training, Leading to Full-Time Position

The Hollywood WorkSource Center (WSC) connected participant Brená with the LA:RISE program, where she received job training that led to a full-time position at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles Digital Print Center.

Brená moved to Los Angeles with her family in search of an opportunity to build a better future. A year later, she was still searching for a full-time job and was at-risk of homelessness.

Brená enrolled at the Hollywood WSC to receive assistance in her job search. The WSC referred Brená, through the LA:RISE program, to the YWCA’s Digital Print Center, a non-profit social enterprise that provides workforce training at its commercial print shop.

In her role as a customer service administrative assistant, Brená developed job skills such as maintaining customer files and helping the team generate new customers. She excelled throughout her job training and was offered a full-time job in the print vendor’s executive office.

Brená said she is excited to continue building new work skills and is proud that she is now able to support her family.

Formerly Homeless, LA:RISE Participant Now Has Full-Time Retail Job

LA:RISE participant Stephanie at her job with the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC)
LA:RISE participant Stephanie received job training at the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) where she developed skills that led to a full-time job as a retail assistant.

When Stephanie enrolled in the LA:RISE program at the DWC, she was experiencing homelessness and discouraged from a long job search that had not produced any full-time opportunities. After learning about the paid job training opportunities at DWC, she eagerly enrolled and was excited to begin working and developing new skills.

Over the course of her LA:RISE training, Stephanie gained confidence in herself, along with job skills in retail operations and leadership experience.

Stephanie now works at MADE by DWC, the organization’s social enterprise. She said she enjoys the responsibility of working on a team and the opportunity to be creative while developing MADE by DWC’s line of gift products, which include candles and soaps.

Now, Stephanie said she is excited about her future and hopes to become an entrepreneur so that she can create employment opportunities for those who are striving to overcome the same barriers she has faced.

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

The City’s WorkSource Centers and LA:RISE Collaborative Partnership prioritize individuals recently released from prison, 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 January 6, 2020. Read this issue and more.