VWDB/VJC Awarded $100,000 to Help Transition Homeless Adults to Employment

GLENDALE, CA (October 30, 2017) – The City of Glendale’s Community Services and Parks Department’s (CSP), Workforce Development Section has been awarded $100,000 by the Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services Department to train and transition adults who are homeless into gainful employment. The funds are awarded from the Measure H bill approved by voters to develop strategies and provide services to individuals who are homeless. “Approved Strategies to Combat Homelessness,” was drafted by the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and approved by the County Board of Supervisors on February 9, 2016.

The grant creates the Regional Immediate Intervention Service to Employment (RIISE) project which brings together several community partners to train and prepare participants for full-time employment.  RIISE will target individuals that are homeless and are either Foster Youth, Victims of Domestic Violence, have disabilities, or are receiving Government Assistance. The City of Glendale’s Continuum of Care, in partnership with Ascencia and other community organizations, will identify and refer candidates to the program. The Verdugo Jobs Center (VJC) will provide counseling and career guidance, as well as work readiness workshops to prepare participants for job search. Work readiness also includes training in communication skills, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and other skills needed to be successful in the work environment.

The City of Glendale’s Community Services & Parks Department will provide paid work experience to qualify for future jobs while earning wages. Individuals will be supervised while working park sites conducting general park maintenance. The VJC will provide job placement assistance and supportive services, including interview and work clothing, and transportation assistance to secure employment.

Modeled after the success of the community programs implemented in Anaheim and San Francisco, participants gain work experience by working in city departments for maintaining the community facilities. RIISE Work Experience begins with basic clean-up services and gradually develop more technical skills including landscaping, facility attendance, and general labor. The participants will develop the skills they need to enter comparable employment in landscaping, general labor, and maintenance.

Recognized as a leader in workforce development for its innovative programs in serving people with disabilities, the City’s Workforce Development Section, is poised to successfully transition the RIISE participants to employment. “The Workforce Development Section continuously targets underserved customer segments and this grant will allow us to serve one of the most vulnerable populations in the City of Glendale and surrounding communities,” stated Judith Velasco, Executive Director, “We are dedicated to transforming lives and providing the supports necessary to break the cycle of poverty by placing our customers in jobs earning competitive wages.”  The Director of Community Services and Parks, Onnig Bulanikian, stated “As one city in Los Angeles County to have a Continuum of Care program to end homelessness, the City of Glendale is committed to train individuals so they can provide for themselves through the dignity of work.”

The City of Glendale, Community Services and Parks Workforce Development Section has been serving the tri-city consortium for more than 30 years with innovative employment and training services that create the competitive human capital required for sustained growth and industry leadership. It provides services out of the Verdugo Jobs Center site, a proud member of the America’s Job Center of California, located in the City of Glendale, and its satellite office, Burbank Workforce Connection. The Workforce Development Section has earned recognition for its specialized programs that successfully train and employ people with disabilities, veterans, English language learners, low income individuals, and youth.