The mission of Center for Living and Learning is to prepare individuals transitioning from rehabilitation or with other barriers to employment, to enter the workforce and become contributing members of society.
Founded in 2001, CLL has become a leader throughout the San Fernando Valley in meeting the comprehensive needs of adults with significant emplyment barriers in order to help them obtain self-sufficiency. CLL has received numerous awards for its exceptional work, including from former California State Senator Alex Padilla, US Congressman Tony Cardenas, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, and former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
The Center for Living and Learning has achieved its mission for over 15 years through two programs:
- Our Apprenticeship Program – A paid job and computer training program through the operation of a nationwide car donation program. All office functions and call center functions are performed by apprentices in training who rotate through the various departments.
- Our Job Readiness Program – Provides individual job search preparation assistance and guided job searches to disadvantaged clients.
Why our services are needed
The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County Service Planning Area 2, which encompasses the San Fernando Valley, is higher than the state and national averages. The population served by CLL has an even higher unemployment rate due to multiple employment barriers, such as gaps in work history, lack of education and training, priori criminal convictions, and unstable living situations. Many individuals in transition lack social supports and have been distanced from their families due to incarceration, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involvement, or the collateral consequences of addiction. Parents of minor children who wish to reunify – even when trained with entry-level skills – confront challenges in retaining employment due to a lack of skills and supports to manage the tumult that often accompanies the transition. These barriers place individuals at risk of relapse, recidivism, homelessness, and chronic unemployment. Families and communities are further affected when these individuals are unable to reenter the workforce, and a burden falls on safety net systems that provide for basic needs, housing, and healthcare.
CLL reverses this cycle by preparing difficult-to-employ persons for the workforce, providing on-the-job training, connecting them to living wage jobs, and supporting their job retention through our unique and comprehensive services. As a result of our one-of-a-kind peer mentorship model, which has successfully guided thousands of individuals to achieve self-sufficiency, we have become known as a leader in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles in meeting the comprehensive needs of adults with significant employment barriers.