Los Angeles, CA – On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), in partnership with Hospitality Training Academy (HTA), LA Metro, and the City of Los Angeles hosted a press conference to announce several employment and training opportunities as part of FACES’s API JOBS (Jobs Opportunities & Business Success) Initiative.
Hyepin Im, President of Faith and Community Empowerment, kicked off the press conference by recounting the history of FACE’s partnership with the City of Los Angeles in launching its API JOBS Initiative. She stated,” We are pleased to announce to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) community these exciting job and training opportunities that will benefit many individuals. Recent studies show the API community represents 13% of Los Angeles’ population, and also 10% of Los Angeles’ unemployed. Yet, only 6% of the API community accesses the city’s Worksource Centers which help individuals connect with jobs and training opportunities. The API Jobs Initiative was launched to address this gap. We hope today’s announcement and our efforts will allow more API’s to obtain employment by connecting with many of these free services.”
Charlie Woo, the Chair of the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles stated, “One of our jobs is to make sure nobody is left out.” He also shared that City of Los Angeles receives $70 million in grants annually to provide workforce and economic development training and programs, with intentions of placing prospective applicants into career pathways.
Ms. Im also expressed her gratitude to the three employment partners HTA, LA Metro, and the City of Los Angeles. “There are so many employment opportunities with many employees in both LA Metro and City of Los Angeles retiring as well as new construction projects throughout Los Angeles. We wanted to make sure that the Asian Pacific Islander community in Los Angeles will be able to also access these great hospitality, transportation and civil service careers.”
Jan Perry, General Manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department for the City of Los Angeles, shared about the City’s Targeted Local Hire Program that allows individuals to be hired as a City employee without taking the civil service exam. She also highlighted the number of spots that will be opening as a result of employees approaching retirement age. “The City is dedicated to making sure that every Angeleno has the opportunity for City jobs that will give them an opportunity to transform their lives. An estimated 40,000 people are employed at the City of Los Angeles. This year, an estimated 46 percent of the City’s workforce will become eligible for retirement. The City’s Targeted Local Hire Program provides an opportunity for under-served and under-employed individuals to find an alternative pathway into Civil Service careers at the City of LA. This program will help place individuals, including those in the API community, on a career pathway where they can achieve an improved quality of life for themselves and their families.”
Ms. Im also shared FACE will be able to assist individuals to apply for these City job openings from maintenance workers to office and administrative positions without taking the civil service exam. In addition, various underserved groups such as ex-offenders and individuals without high school degree would also be eligible to apply.
Ms. Im also introduced another great partner, the Hospitality Training Academy (HTA), who offer various resources to assist individuals who wish to pursue careers in the hospitality industry connect with union jobs which provides great benefits and starting pay. HTA Director Sandra Ko stated, “We are in the midst of an historic hotel development boom in Southern California. There are least 125 hotel projects planned throughout Los Angeles and neighboring cities, plus many more projects that have already begun construction. There are at least 10 projects planned in Koreatown alone. We can expect to see that number rise as this boom continues. This explosion of hotel development will create thousands of new jobs in the hospitality industry throughout Southern California. This presents us with an incredible opportunity to get API workers into those jobs.” Sandra Ko also added that these opportunities are stepping stones that can lead to greater job opportunities. She shared that HTA offers professional training in hospitality and job search assistance at no cost to the participants if they qualify. They will also be offering Vocational ESL training for API community members who may be passive English speakers to obtain careers in the hospitality industry as part of this partnership with FACE.
Joel Sunabe, a HTA 2018 Culinary Apprentice Graduate had very high praises for HTA and the opportunities they provided for him. Sunabe stated, “HTA ended up doing way more than teaching me how to cook. They practiced mock interviews with me, revised my resume, and even set me up with employers… It was a perfect opportunity for me.”
Ms. Im introduced another partner, the LA Metro, which through the passage of Measure M* will lend to the generation of more than 778,000 jobs. Approximately 39 percent of Metro’s workforce is eligible for retirement which will lead to additional job openings. LA Metro is focused on creating pathways to jobs and careers in the transportation industry through various workforce development programs such as its existing Transportation Careers Academy Program, Entry Level Trainee Program and internship program which focuses on the youth community including its Project Labor Agreement/Construction Careers Policy which creates the pathway to construction jobs on Metro’s projects and future initiatives such as Workforce Initiative Now-Los Angeles (WIN-LA).
Shalonda Baldwin, Deputy Executive Officer for Metro’s Diversity and Economic Opportunity, stated, “Metro under the leadership of our CEO, Phil Washington, is committed to attract, hire and grow a world-class transportation workforce from within our communities including the API community and others throughout Los Angeles County. Through our employer driven workforce development programs and our regional collaboration with the Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, the regional community colleges and others such as FACE, we see this as our opportunity to outreach to members of our communities, create access to training and education resources needed to put people on a career pathway into the infrastructure and transportation industry.”
FACE will be able to connect the API community with job opportunities and internship opportunities.
*Measure M, a half-cent sales tax initiative approved by the voters in 2016, will provide $860 million annually to build 40 highway and transit projects throughout L.A. County over the next 40 years.
KCCD/FACE, as lead agency, won a grant funded by the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department to launch the API JOBS Initiative. This historic initiative, in partnership with HTA, LA Metro, and other Worksource Centers, will serve the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community in Los Angeles to obtain vocational training, career pathways, community and social services to linguistically isolated participants. Employers include the City Targeted Local Hire Program for city service employment without taking the civil service exam, Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) with hundreds of job opening everyday and with the LA Metro.
Jan Tokumaru, Consultant with the California Labor Federation Workforce and Economic Development Program and member of the API JOBS Initiative workforce team, shared, “ Los Angeles is home to a uniquely diverse and culturally rich population that includes many Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian communities. However they are under-represented in the workforce development resource system. With our broader community networking support, we hope to increase access and engagement to build pathways to good jobs and a stronger economy for all.”
Reverend Sam Shin, President of Southern California Korean Ministers Association, explained through his firsthand experience as a former police officer that people have a hard time getting by because they do not have information to various job opportunities. “Working with organizations that provide training and opportunities are something truly to be thankful for.”
Rev. John Jongdai Park, FACE Board Co-Chair, also stated, “The Bible tells us to seek and we shall find. Access to information is critical to seeking. FACE is here to help people access information to valuable opportunities. I encourage everyone to contact FACE and get help in finding employment, training and internship opportunities.”
From Left to Right: Joel Sunabe (HTA Culinary Apprentice Graduate), Hyepin Im (President of Faith and Community Empowerment), and Charlie Woo (Chair of the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles)
Lastly, although the training and hiring opportunities are targeted towards job seekers, the API JOBS Initiative can also assist businesses as well. Ms. Im stated, “If there are companies who are seeking Asian-speaking employees, please contact us. The Worksource Centers can also help employers with recruitment and screening for free.”
An orientation is scheduled for interested applicants and will be held at the FACE office on April 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. The FACE office is located at 3550 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 736, Los Angeles, CA 90010.
Press Conference Attendees Included:
Hyepin Im, President of Faith and Community Empowerment
Sandra Ko, Director, Hospitality Training Academy (HTA)
Joel Sunabe, HTA 2018 Culinary Apprentice Graduate
Jan Perry, General Manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department for the City of Los Angeles
Charlie Woo, Chair of the Workforce Development Board for the City of Los Angeles
Shalonda Baldwin, LA Metro, Deputy Executive Officer Diversity & Economic Opportunity
Jan Tokumaru, California Labor Federation
Sam Shin, President of Southern California Korean Ministers Association
Emile Mack, Vice Chair of Korean-Amercan Federation of Los Angeles
Rev. John JongDai Park, Co-Chair of Faith and Community Empowerment
*Other community representatives from various API organizations including
Acqui Soriano Versoza, Executive Director of Pilipino Workers Center
Majib Siddiquee, Executive Director, Little Bangladesh Improvements, Inc.
Participating Media included:
The Korea Times Los Angeles
The Korean Christian Press
World Journal (Chinese Daily News)
The Korea Daily (JoongAng Ilbo)