Case managers, career advisors, and advocates attend training to learn how to better serve transgender youth seeking employment
LOS ANGELES — A new series of trainings spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti and LGBTQ advocates are promoting employment practices that can expand career opportunities for transgender young people.
More than 100 caseworkers from City and County agencies and local non-profits attended today’s inaugural training, where they learned about trans-specific barriers to employment, the transition process, preferred gender pronouns and vocabulary, and key differences between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This training, and the L.A. Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit, are designed to support employment case managers in meeting the needs of transgender clients, and encourage employers to hire LGBTQ youth.
“Everyone deserves the chance to build a career and prosper,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Transgender youth are among the most vulnerable Angelenos — and employers and advocates should have the tools to help young people get on the path to meaningful opportunities in every sector of the economy.”
The workshops are part of Mayor Garcetti's commitment to grow the number and quality of jobs in the HIRE LA’s Youth program, and bring together public and nonprofit partners to empower LGBTQ youth as they prepare to enter the workforce. Since taking office, Mayor Garcetti has tripled the number of youth jobs in Los Angeles, and set a new goal to hire 20,000 young people for year-round employment by 2020.
The training was delivered in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot (LAP3) Initiative, and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)’ Community Based Learning Program, and specifically targets foster youth, youth on probation, and homeless youth.
“Young transgender people face significant challenges in entering the workforce and finding meaningful career pathways. Many of them who cannot attain employment face the risk of becoming homeless,” said Simon Costello, director of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Children, Youth & Family Services. “This indispensable training to case managers and career advisors will help empower trans youth in becoming equal and complete members of society. Thank you to Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department, and the Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot for helping some of the most vulnerable and underserved young people in the community.”
According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the unemployment rate for transgender people is twice that of the general population, and nearly four times as high for transgender people of color. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, when unemployed, transgender people are twice as likely to become homeless or turn to underground economies like sex work and illegal drug sales, 85% more likely to become incarcerated, and twice as likely to become infected with HIV.
The 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Youth Count estimates that nearly 6,000 Transition Age Youth, ages 18-24, in the County are homeless on any given night, a staggering 64% increase over last year. A disproportionate number of these young people identify as LGBTQ.
Today's trainings underscore the importance of equipping young Angelenos with essential tools that will set them on a path to gainful employment and away from homelessness.
"EWDD is pleased to support the Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit," said Jan Perry, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department. "This enhancement will enable the trainers to be highly sensitized to the unique issues that transgender youth face in the workplace and provide a pathway for trainers to help trans youth navigate the complexities of getting a job."
“The strength of Los Angeles lies in its diversity and that includes the many youth job seekers that case managers encounter” said Mary Keipp, Program Director of UCLA's Community Based Learning Program. “Our workforce development professionals may not have had experience assisting transgender youth. Thus we hope the toolkit and training will provide a growth opportunity for case managers and career advisors in working with this very vulnerable population. Thanks to Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board, the California Workforce Development Board and the LA LGBT Center for helping to better serve transgender youth in their pathway to adulthood."
Participants included representatives from the City of Los Angeles YouthSource System; LAHSA's Coordinated Entry System; Los Angeles County's Office of Education and Departments of Mental Health and Workforce Development; Aging and Community Services; the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce; the L.A. Community College District; L.A.'s BEST; Mexican American Opportunity Foundation; Five Keys Charter School and Programs; the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and a range of City and non-profit partners, including the Youth Policy Institute and Communities In Schools.
In May of 2016, the Mayor and other City leaders made L.A. the nation’s largest city to establish a permanent council of transgender community leaders with the creation of the Human Relations Commission's Transgender Advisory Council. Last October, the L.A. earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's 2016 Municipality Equality Index (MEI) scorecard for being a national leader in advancing LGBTQ rights for a fifth consecutive year.
About the Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit
Released June in 2016, the toolkit is a resource of the Los Angeles LGBT Center released for case managers and others to assist them in helping to prepare transgender youth for the workforce. It was developed as a part of the Transitions to Work (T2W) project, a collaboration between the Los Angeles LGBT Center, University of California at Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Community Based Learning Program, the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board, and the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department. The toolkit was funded by grants from the California Workforce Development Board and the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability, AIDS Coordinator’s Office. The toolkit is available online at http://lalgbtcenter.org/