LA:RISE participant Elana outside the Liberation Café at the Los Angeles LGBT Center
The LA:RISE program helped participant Elana develop job skills, which led to full-time work at the Liberation Café at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. When Elana arrived at the LA LGBT Center, she immediately felt welcome and comfortable, as the staff and other participants also identified as LGBT.

Elana enrolled in the LA:RISE program, which through its partnership with the LA LGBT Center offers a culinary social enterprise, that provides job training with the goal that participants will obtain full-time employment and housing stability.

LA:RISE, Helping Job Seekers During COVID-19

During her training, Elana developed communication and time management skills. She also learned transferrable kitchen skills, including knife skills and how to use a variety of spices. The experience helped Elana build her confidence and it taught her a valuable lesson – it is okay to make mistakes, as those moments are learning opportunities.

Today, Elana is working at LA LGBT’s new Liberation Café while she returns to school. She said she is proud of her personal and professional growth and is excited to pursue a career that she loves.

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 October 12, 2020. Read this issue and more.