HTA proudly announces that CAST, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, selected as
Finalist in the Partnership for Freedom Challenge
LOS ANGELES, California, December 17, 2013 –The Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) is thrilled to announce that the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), has been selected as a finalist in the Reimagine: Opportunity, a national competition seeking innovative ideas to improve the lives of survivors of modern-day slavery in the United States. The HTA is a funded partner in this grant proposal.
Reimagine: Opportunity is sponsored by the Partnership for Freedom, a public-private partnership led by Humanity United, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.
CAST’s initiative, The Networked Survivor, is a plan for creating powerful professional and social networks resulting in career opportunities for survivors of human trafficking in some of Los Angeles’ largest industries: tourism, hospitality, entertainment, beauty and health. CAST’s idea was selected from among more than 160 submissions representing 260 applying organizations from around the country.
In January, CAST, the HTA and other partners will join 12 other finalists at an Innovation Workshop in Washington, DC, where specialists in technology, social enterprise, communications and media will meet with us. In the spring, the winners will be announced, with prize grants totaling $1.8 million.
CAST Executive Director and CEO Kay Buck says, “Survivors of human trafficking are some of the most entrepreneurial and hard-working people I know. However, because of a variety of complex factors, they are often held back from moving forward in achieving their education and career goals. Celebrating its 15th year serving survivors, CAST is boldly stepping into its next era as a catalyst of collective impact and shared leadership with new players who bring diverse expertise, resources and economic opportunities for survivors to the table. “
With survivors as our advisors, CAST has joined forces with Hospitality Training Academy (the Taft-Hartley Funded training arm of the UNITE HERE Local 11 Labor Union in Los Angeles’ high-growth tourism and hospitality industry), Paul Mitchell Schools and UEvolution to provide quality training and sustainable career opportunities that lead to economic empowerment.”
HTA Executive Director Adine Forman shares, “CAST gathered its most diverse, creative and networked partners to envision how we can collectively transform economic opportunities for survivors. There are abundant opportunities, but there currently exists a lack of networks and connections preventing survivors from accessing them. With the HTA, we can work to pipeline CAST clients into secure, living wage union jobs with career advancement opportunities into the hospitality/tourism/food service sector.”
The Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) provides training for new hires or current/incumbent workers looking for promotions through improved job skills and work experience. The HTA is designed to improve Los Angeles’ tourism and hospitality industry by increasing the skill level of its workforce. The HTA provides courses specifically tailored to increase workers’ skills in a variety of areas, including culinary/cook, server, dishwasher, busser, bartender, barista, housekeeping, host/hostess, cashier, retail sales/customer service and Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL). For more information, please visit our website at www.lahta.org.
For over 15 years, CAST has championed a comprehensive, survivor-centered approach to combatting human trafficking. CAST provides trafficking survivors with a continuum of life-transforming services: a 24-hour emergency response system; legal services; social services; and a survivor leadership program. Through this intensive work in the trenches, CAST holds a unique perspective that has catalyzed innovative partnerships. With these strategic relationships in place, CAST is boldly stepping into its next era as an agent of shared leadership and collective impact with new players to unveil The Networked Survivor, a plan for creating powerful career paths and networks for survivors of human trafficking. For more information, please visit: www.castla.org.
About Partnership for Freedom
The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that was first announced by President Obama during his landmark speech on human trafficking in September 2012. It is led by Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Goldman Sachs10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.