Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement after the Board approved her motion that directs relevant County Departments to begin work on establishing a new County Department of Workforce and Economic Development:

“Long before COVID-19, changing technologies, a shift to a climate-resilient economy, and new ways of working were disrupting jobs and the skills employees needed to do them. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has exacerbated the need to rethink LA County’s workforce and economic development services. As former Secretary of Labor, I am committed to identifying and creating innovative workforce systems to help both job seekers and those already employed. With many in need during this COVID-19 crisis, we must quickly ramp up our response to provide fast, efficient, and effective services to job seekers.

“By breaking down silos and integrating our workforce development programs and goals under the auspices of a new County Department of Workforce and Economic Development, we are laying the foundation to more effectively train and equip our workforce for long and successful careers. With more than $100 million dollars per year administered for County workforce development initiatives, LA County is utilizing a unique opportunity to map pathways to great jobs in the region. I hope to reach all diverse communities, but especially those populations facing significant barriers to employment or educational attainment.

“Today’s motion is another leap forward in ensuring sustained leadership and coordination among our County Departments while reducing barriers to employment and making it clear that career pathways and priorities in our local economy are important.”

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov