Mayor Robert Garcia making his State of the City address in January, where he pledged to increase youth opportunities. File photo.
The State Development Department has awarded the City of Long Beach $2 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, to be used to support young adults who have been disconnected from school and the workforce through the programs My Brother's Keeper and the PATH program, the city announced today.
According to the release, Long Beach was one of four cities selected nationwide, and the only West Coast city to participate in the pilot program.
“I want to thank Secretary Perez and the Department of Labor for investing in Long Beach and our efforts to create meaningful pathways to careers for all of our youth,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “This $2 million grant will provide critically needed career training, industry credentials, support and experience to ensure that youth are prepared to succeed in the workplace and life.”
The release states the grant will fund a program aimed at engaging 300 Long Beach youth, aged 18 to 26, providing them opportunities to learn about leadership development, civic engagement, work readiness and occupational training.
“I am really pleased to see that the City of Long Beach has been awarded this very significant grant from the U.S Department of Labor,” said Congressman Alan Lowenthal in a statement. “This demonstration project will serve the [city's most vulnerable youth] by connecting them to training and employment in sectors such as healthcare, goods movement and information technology.”
According to the release, Long Beach’s youth unemployment rate of 20.7 percent is a stark contrast to the national rate of 9.9 percent. Working to develop more youth opportunities fits within the Mayor’s announced agenda, which also includes creating more internships through city partnerships with the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and other organizations.