The Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) is an innovative, collaborative program that helps individuals with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed. EWDD is a leadership team partner of LA:RISE.

The following stories illustrate the success of the LA:RISE program, made possible through the efforts of EWDD, WorkSource Centers, our partner agencies, and the LA:RISE clients.

LA:RISE Participant Elias

Learning New Skills, LA:RISE Participant Finds Work to Support Family

LA:RISE partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) Enterprises helped participant Elias gain work experience and find a living wage job that allows him to support his family.

After Elias lost his last job, his mother, and his younger brother were at-risk of homelessness. Elias knew that he needed to develop new skills to find full-time employment. At CRCD Enterprises, Elias learned how to use new tools and teamwork skills, while contributing to keeping his community clean. Elias is also taking job readiness and finance classes to gaining advanced certifications that will help him in his full-time job search.

Elias said he is proud of his work and he feels prepared to support his family and succeed in the workplace.

LA:RISE Re-Entry Participant Finds Employment and Reason to Smile

LA:RISE Participant Garry
LA:RISE partner Goodwill Southern California (GSC) helped re-entry participant Garry transform his life after incarceration and find work that he enjoys. Garry recently began working at GSC through the LA:RISE program and said he is already feeling the positive impact of employment on his life.

Garry is a former gang member, which he describes as his “entire life” before incarceration. Before LA:RISE, he was not interested in pursuing a career or developing work experience. “I never smiled and felt I had no reason to,” he said. “I also felt communication was not easy for me.”

But when he returned home after being released from prison, Garry was determined to build a new life. He sought out support to find employment and prevent homelessness. When he first learned about LA:RISE, he was excited about the opportunity to create the new life he envisioned for himself.

Garry said he loves his job and learning about customer service and sales. He is proud of the steps that he has taken and after only a few weeks at GSC, Garry says he is getting used to smiling every day.

LA:RISE – A Social Enterprise Solution to Help the At-Risk 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 nor employed. After working in a transitional job at a social enterprise, leveraging WorkSource Center training and services, LA:RISE participants are placed in permanent jobs within the private or the public sector.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of March 9, 2020. Read this issue and more.