With the federal budget crisis threatening Workforce Investment Act Funding, the L.A. County Workforce Investment Board is launching an educational campaign this April to show the true impact that WorkSource and Career Centers have throughout California. The WorkSource Network serves over four million residents in 58 of the county’s 88 cities and 151 unincorporated areas. JVS operates three of these Centers, in Marina Del Rey, West Hollywood and Antelope Valley.
The numbers don’t tell the real story. With an 11.8% unemployment rate in Los Angeles County alone, many people are struggling to find jobs, provide for their families and still keep their spirits up. California’s free WorkSource programs, which provide training services, employment help and business support, are a vital part of those struggles.
"I am a 71 year old senior citizen who needs to work to support myself and have gone through fear of running out of the meager savings I have and winding up homeless,” Said JVS Marina del Rey WorkSource client Joan V. “I have been using your resources at WorkSource, including taking classes in accounting, workshops on resume writing, interviewing and any others I could find, as well as working with counselors. The good news is that I have just been hired for a job at the U.S. Census. I hope this may encourage other people who have been going through the same thing I have."
Several vital programs that JVS’ WorkSource Centers offer are Veterans First, which provides free career assistance, job placement and training services to recently returned U.S. veterans; Rapid Response, which helps employees and employers of businesses that are downsizing, and a wide range of specialized training courses.
These training and certification courses cover a variety of industries, including fiber optics, cyber security, Microsoft Certified Security Engineering and more. When the mortgage and building industry collapsed, JVS’ Marina del Rey WorkSource Center held Green Building techniques workshops and helped place construction workers in new jobs in that growing arena. As the field of information technology heats back up, JVS’ WorkSource Centers have responded with fiber optics and cyber security training. Many of these programs partner with local community colleges; the latest program offers free security guard training and job placement in conjunction with Los Angeles Southwest College.
Entire businesses are also affected by the downturn in the economy. JVS’ WorkSource Rapid Response program helps companies with on-site services and resources to help workers find new jobs. Not only can this prevent future layoffs and lessen the impact of business closures, but participation in the Rapid Response program can go a long way towards fostering goodwill among employees and the community. Sponsored through the US Department of Labor, Los Angeles County and the California Employment Development Department, representatives from each are also available to meet with employees through the program and answer questions ranging from unemployment benefits to insurance. JVS’ Marina del Rey WorkSource Rapid Response team has helped nearly a hundred companies, and this free program continues to be available to companies in need.
"This is the best job fair I've ever been to,” said veteran John E. of a recent Veterans First job event. “I now feel like there is a whole community who wants to help us find work."
Workforce Development Month offers workshops, orientations, special events and complimentary consultations to L.A. residents. For more details, please visit WorkforceDevelopmentMonth.com/.
About WorkSource California
WorkSource California is a network of workforce experts that leverage funding and resources across the Los Angeles region to provide job seekers and businesses with no-cost, high value employment and training services. JVS’ Marina Del Rey, West Hollywood and Antelope Valley WorkSource Centers are a proud partner of WorkSource California, an initiative of the L.A. County Workforce Investment Board.
Clear Channel Radio network has agreed to promote Workforce Development Month and support the effort to increase public awareness about the employment services and training for jobseekers, and the hiring, screening and training resources for businesses. The City of L.A. has just launched JobsLA.org as Los Angeles' premier employment, hiring, and careers solution website, Resource Center Locations: JVS Antelope Valley One-Stop Career Center, JVS Marina del Rey WorkSource Center, JVS West Hollywood WorkSource Center.
Celebrating its 80th Anniversary since its founding in 1931, JVS (jvsla.org) has enhanced hundreds of thousands of lives with vital employment and career services. Each year, JVS helps nearly 30,000 people from over 30 sites around the Southland. A non-profit, non-sectarian organization, JVS works with city, state and county agencies to ensure everyone has access to the help they need, including long term unemployed, at-risk students, and people with disabilities. You can also find JVS on Facebook at JVS Los Angeles or follow them on twitter at JVSlosangeles.