LA:RISE - Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise
Working Better Together
Traditional workforce development systems have not yet integrated social enterprises and personal supports as strategies to address the overwhelming needs of people with severe barriers to employment, including histories of homelessness and incarceration.
At the same time, businesses across the country are challenged with finding skilled workers. With the passage of the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which requires government-contracted workforce agencies to serve populations with barriers to employment, REDF saw a catalyzing opportunity to foster the collaboration between the social enterprise field, the workforce system, and employers to order to improve long-term success for these populations.
LA:RISE – Collaborating for Results
LA:RISE, the Los Angeles Initiative for Social Enterprise, is an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the city’s Workforce Development System (WDS) with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers in order to help men and women with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed.
LA:RISE is building a pathway from unemployment, to transitional employment, to permanent work for opportunity youth or individuals who have been previously homeless or incarcerated. Funded initially by the Department of Labor through a Workforce Innovation Fund Grant, thanks to its early success, LA:RISE is now funded locally by a City of LA General Fund allocation, LA County Measure H, and workforce funding.
Social enterprises and the workforce agencies work together to better prepare individuals both professionally and personally by providing paid work experience and personal supports such as housing, transportation, and legal services. By co-enrolling individuals into WIOA (which provides workforce services using federal funding), LA:RISE is able to leverage funds and work more efficiently.