Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors passed her motion directing pertinent County Departments to prepare a 120-day report back that includes a plan to develop a network of apprenticeship programs:

“As former Secretary of Labor, I recognize the key role apprenticeship programs play in preparing and strengthening our workforce. At LA County, we have been working diligently to address the issue of stagnant wages, employment, and training for those who need it the most. Through leveraging multiple sources of funding, there is an opportunity to enhance the County’s existing workforce development programs in order to establish apprenticeships in growing sectors.

“Locally, we have been strengthening our relationships with high schools, community colleges, universities, labor unions, and industry partners to develop innovative on-the-job-training programs that could prepare people for jobs that offer living wages. With rising housing costs, declining wages, and increasing homelessness, now is the time to act. In LA County, 15 percent of working adults live in poverty and nearly 51 percent of working poor adults are employed full-time. While the economy has been expanding since the end of the Great Recession, many employed residents who earn low wages are at-risk of homelessness or are experiencing homelessness.

“Offering local residents avenues to enter growing sectors with high wages is in line with my priority to promote equity in the workforce. The County is forging relationships with business partners to provide more hands-on training programs in robust industries to those facing barriers to employment, including formerly incarcerated individuals, youth transitioning out of foster care, and people experiencing homelessness. Apprenticeships are an effective tool to eliminate employment barriers and help individuals transition from low-wage jobs into sectors with opportunities for economic mobility. Our local economy benefits when more households gain high wages in thriving industries.”

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, 213-359-0795, or rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov