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Los Angeles Unveils New Youthsource Centers

October 15, 2012

Fulfilling his 2011 Student Recovery Day promise, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa unveiled 13 new YouthSource Centers and a redesigned student recovery system October 12 within Los Angeles. The move marks the largest partnership ever between the city and the Los Angeles Unified School District. “By empowering our youth, we empower our entire community,” Villaraigosa said. “The new YouthSource System will provide our future generations the opportunity to get back on the right track. Today we are sending the message loud and clear that in Los Angeles, every student is eligible for a second chance.”

Developed and managed by the city’s Community Development Department and made possible through $13 million annually provided by the Federal Workforce Investment Act and a new $12 million grant from the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund, the new YouthSource System features a universal access component and is focused on getting out-of'school youth back in the classroom and armed with a high school diploma.

The YouthSource System is a redesign of the city’s OneSource Centers, which, by contrast, centered on job finding efforts for in'school youth. Seventy percent of all enrollments in the new YouthSource System are expected to be out-of'school youth. “The Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board spent a great deal of time and solicited public opinion in crafting how the city’s youth system could be improved to better serve Angeleno youth,” said WIB Chair, Charles Woo. “Our new network of YouthSource Centers will prepare youth for the world of work, future education, work experience and employment – and ultimately, careers.”

Located in low-income areas across Los Angeles, the 13 YouthSource Centers will prepare young people to be college and career ready. Services will be targeted to areas of the city with schools that have the highest dropout rates. YouthSource Centers will re-engage out-of'school youth by reconnecting students appropriately with high schools, community day schools, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and county continuation schools, community colleges, or GED programs. “This partnership brings desperately needed resources to our students and families,” said Board President Mónica García. “Together LAUSD and Los Angeles are building the support network to connect with youth, provide support and guidance, and help students get to graduation.”

Additionally, there will be LAUSD Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors at each of the city’s 13 non-profit YouthSource Centers to help guide students back to school. Centers are expected to improve student retention and bolster academic proficiency through effective case management and supportive services. “The Los Angeles Unified School District is excited about our partnership with the Community Development Department and the placement of LAUSD’s Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors at the 13 YouthSource Centers,” Debra Duardo, Director of Pupil Services for Los Angeles Unified School District said. “Working together we will improve our efforts to support out of school and at-risk students to overcome barriers that impede school attendance and academic success.”

To get involved with the new YouthSource System, participants must be 16-21 years-old, reside in Los Angeles, and be income eligible. Participants are asked to be involved with the program for at least one year during which time they will receive guidance from trained and experienced staff on a range of services including reenrolling in high school, alternative high school services, counseling and mentoring, college preparation, employment and work readiness, career exploration, and occupational skills training, tutoring, and computer training.

“The Community Development Department believes that this leadership and investment in returning high school dropouts to school is a great investment in the future of Los Angeles,” Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager of the Community Development Department said.