The Center for Living and Learning offers a free job search preparation course teaching vital job skills, including application and interview techniques. The course takes between 5-15 hours and is tailored to each client’s needs based on background, goals, and skills. Our specialized trained supervisors assist with building a foundation. Employment services include the following:
- Practice applications (including online applications) and gathering all data necessary to accurately complete applications
- Resume and cover letter writing
- Interview techniques (including mock interviews and how to convey relevant work experience as well as explain gaps in employment and felony convictions)
- Interview follow-up etiquette
- Job search techniques
- Assistance in applying for jobs and scheduling interviews online and by fax
- Networking training
- Personal appearance
- Proper work habits and ethics
- Computer operation and Internet use
- Job retention and stress management coaching
- Clothing Assistance – Based on compliance with program, need, and availability of funds
Who we serve
The Job Readiness Program targets no/low income individuals who experience multiple barriers to employment:
- Persons transitioning from drug/alcohol treatment, homelessness, and incarceration
- Welfare recipients / GAIN participants
- Former foster and at-risk youth
CLL specializes in serving individuals who are perceived as unemployable, stigmatized because of past circumstances, and overlooked by other organizations. We accept referrals from drug treatment centers, re-entry programs, homeless shelters, community social service agencies, the VA, probation ad parole departments, as well as walk-ins. The Program primarily targets adults and transition-age foster youth in the San Fernando Valley, but we serve any and all individuals within Los Angeles County who are referred to us.
All Job Readiness Program clients are assessed upon intake to determine the extent they are work ready. The assessment consists of data gathering of client’s needs, barriers, and goals. The intake specialist confirms that any additional barriers to employment are being addressed or can be resolved with assistance from CLL or through referrals to partnering agencies. The Holland assessment, which is a validated employment assessment tool, is given once a client is deemed to be work ready to determine career interests and skills.
Intensive case management is at the heart of the Job Readiness Program, and is provided on an individual basis by peer mentors. It begins upon intake and continues until the client has been successfully employed for 6 months. Case management and navigation services are provided by our peer mentors who work intensively and on-on-one with clients, modeling how to set boundaries, deal with personal issues, handle anger and stress, maintain sobriety, and manage finances in order to succeed in family and home life and in the workplace.
While clients are encouraged to drop in daily to review the job listing board and submit applications, peer mentors perform routine weekly check-ins with clients to gather job search updates and ensure the client’s needs are being met. Mentors also conduct follow-ups with referral agencies to ensure client needs are being met. Supportive services that are offered on an as needed basis include:
- Referrals to housing, healthcare, family counseling, etc.
- Assistance confronting legal issues, including child support
- Assistance getting a driver license or California ID
- Criminal record expungements
- Assistance responding to garnishment orders
Clients are taught basic computer skills and are able to search for and apply for jobs are our center, which hosts 15 computers available during business hours on weekdays. Clients are also encouraged to participate in self-directed computer courses, including typing and Microsoft Office.
Clients are provided with transportation to job fairs, recruiting events, and interviews through bus token distribution and CLL’s private van. Professional clothing is also provided to clients for job interviews, as is assistance to purchase needed uniforms and work boots to recently hired individuals.
We prepare clients for employment, and then connect them directly with employers willing to hire them. Our job developer actively cultivates relationships with employers who recognize the challenges facing our population and who wish to give them a chance. We utilize contacts with the Veteran’s Employment Committee and the Canoga Park and Pacoima Employment Development Department offices to seek employers willing to hire veterans, persons recovering from substance abuse, and our other difficult-to-employ populations. We also promote the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring veterans, as well as the on-the-job training reimbursement through local WorkSource Centers.