Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment.
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Central City Association and Business Leaders Launch "Downtown Works"
CENTRAL CITY ASSOCIATION AND BUSINESS LEADERS LAUNCH “DOWNTOWN WORKS”
New nonprofit to tackle urgent social and economic issues
Initial $100,000 commitment to fund jobs program for homeless
Los Angeles (January 18, 2012) – Prominent business leaders and the Central City Association (CCA) of Los Angeles, L.A.'s premier business advocacy group, today announced the creation of Downtown Works, a new nonprofit aimed at tackling some of the city center’s most pressing social and economic issues.
In its first year of operations, Downtown Works will address homelessness, with a focus on creating and strengthening job skills and employment opportunities for this vulnerable population.
Representatives from major Downtown Los Angeles financial institutions and businesses and the job resource organization Chrysalis joined CCA in launching Downtown Works. The announcement was made at Chrysalis, a partner in the new program and site of the first Downtown Works-funded project.
“This economy has impacted everyone, and for those who are most vulnerable, our support is more important than ever,” said Sean Foley, Chairman of CCA and Regional Chairman and EVP of Southern California Commercial Banking for U.S. Bank. “CCA galvanized the business community with a strong call to action, and many stepped up, putting much-needed dollars behind that commitment.”
As part of its launch, Downtown Works announced an initial commitment of more than $100,000, which will fund “Skills for Success,” a new program to increase job opportunities for the homeless. Operated by Chrysalis, “Skills for Success” will provide intensive job training and skill building classes with a goal of helping individuals in their search for transitional or entry-level jobs.
The “Skills for Success” program includes three curriculum elements: employment workshop series, computer skill building and customer service training. Grant funds will support new training materials, computers and other technology needed to make the program possible – helping put people back to work faster.
Companies that have committed to contributing to Downtown Works include AEG, Bank of America, Downtown L.A. Motors, Grand Central Square LP, IDS Real Estate Group, JPMorgan Chase, King’s Seafood Company, Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, Universal Protection Service, U.S. Bank, Wal-Mart and Xyvest Holdings.
“CCA has always been at the forefront of creating solutions to address issues facing Downtown Los Angeles,” said Carol E. Schatz, President and CEO, CCA. “Downtown Works is another example of how the business community, led by CCA, comes together to affect real change – improving the area in which we live and work.”
“Over the years, Downtown businesses on their own have contributed millions of dollars in charitable contributions, pro-bono services and volunteer hours. Now, the establishment of Downtown Works will enable those individual corporate efforts to have a broader, multiplier effect – collectively making a greater impact,” added Schatz.
The Downtown Works program aims to provide real, measureable impact on the Downtown community. In combating homelessness, Downtown Works sees employment as a fundamental step in transforming lives. Through “Skills for Success,” the effects on individuals will be evident in the successful completion of the programs and individuals reaching their goals of entering or reentering the workforce.
“I know what it’s like for society to forget about you, and for people to look the other way,” said Gregory Price, a Chrysalis client. “Chrysalis was what I needed to help me turn my life around. It definitely was not easy, but it was the motivation to get me back into the workforce.”
Downtown Works funding enhances and expands upon existing programs at Chrysalis, like the ones that helped Price, who is now currently fully employed with Gilmore and Associates.
“Gregory is an example of how Chrysalis works day-in and day-out to help the neediest residents rebuild their lives by finding and retaining a job,” said Mark Loranger, President and CEO, Chrysalis. “Many in the business community have been long-time supporters of our work; and we are appreciative that they have created this new effort to further strengthen the social and economic fabric of Downtown.”
Since 1984, Chrysalis has been helping homeless and low-income individuals find and retain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. In 2011 alone, through the Chrysalis Employment Program, over 1,700 individuals secured employment.
About Downtown Works
Downtown Works is a nonprofit organization established by Central City Association and funded by prominent members of the Los Angeles business community to help find effective approaches and concrete solutions to address a broad base of social and economic issues facing Downtown L.A. Established in 2011, Downtown Works aims to fund programs that will make a real difference among Downtown neediest residents and to improve the overall Downtown community. For more information about Downtown works, please visit www.ccala.org/DowntownWorks
About the Central City Association
Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA) is L.A.'s premier business advocacy organization, shaping public policy on a broad range of issues and leading the renaissance in Downtown Los Angeles. Established in 1924, CCA is a membership organization representing more than 450 businesses, trade associations, and non‐profit organizations employing more than 300,000 people in Los Angeles County. Further information about the Central City Association can be found on its website at www.ccala.org.
Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. Since 1984, Chrysalis has helped over 35,000 individuals change their lives through jobs. Annually, Chrysalis provides critical employment services to more than 3,500 homeless and low-income individuals through its service centers in downtown Los Angeles (Skid Row), Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley (Pacoima) where poverty is the most pervasive. www.ChangeLives.org
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