LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has announced a partnership with Amazon in which the e-tail giant will make available several hundred jobs with flexible hours to financially challenged LAUSD graduates — helping ensure they will not have to delay or forgo college.
A release from the LAUSD on Monday, May 17, said the program will be available to district graduates who enroll full time in community colleges, and that students will be eligible to participate immediately after their graduation in June.
“This (COVID-19) crisis is having the greatest impact on students from families who are struggling to get by,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner.
“We’ve seen it in job losses, increased food and housing insecurity and higher rates of illness and death due to COVID-19. We have also seen the impact this crisis is having in declining numbers of high school graduates who are attending two-year colleges.”
Beutner said the portion of graduates from the Class of 2020 who attended two-year colleges directly after graduation decreased to 30% from 39% in 2019 — a drop of about 3,000 students. The greatest declines occurred in low-income communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, he said.
“Many students told us they couldn’t afford to continue their studies because they needed to work to help support their family,” Beutner said.
“We reached out to Amazon to help provide the missing piece. Los Angeles Unified will help the students graduate high school, our community college system will provide them with tuition-free enrollment, and now Amazon is helping with the third leg of the stool — a good-paying job with flexible hours to allow students to continue their education.”
Amazon will also host resume-building, professional development and practice job interview sessions for students. The company will provide students with information about the types of jobs which are available as well as provide advice on how to apply for them. In addition to valuable work experience and the flexibility necessary for students to continue their education, students may also be eligible for scholarships after their first year of employment.
“Trying to balance a job and a class load is a challenge,” said Amazon’s Southern California Manager of External Affairs, Marie Lloyd.
“This partnership with Los Angeles Unified will help ensure hundreds of Los Angeles students from the unprecedented class of 2021 have access to good-paying jobs that are flexible enough to support their higher education ambitions and future career development.”
This new program builds on existing collaborative initiatives with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Los Angeles community to support education and workforce development efforts, including the California Cloud Workforce Project, a regional collaboration among LA County’s K-12 systems, community colleges and CSU campuses, and Delete the Divide, an initiative led by Los Angeles County to empower youth and young adults in unprivileged communities.
Through these initiatives, AWS provides no-cost educator training, instructional content and hands-on learning experiences to help students prepare for in-demand cloud computing careers and other tech jobs. Students gain access to curriculum aligned to tech careers, and developed in coordination with AWS experts to prepare students for the workforce.
“This means that Amazon isn’t just offering hundreds of students their first job — we’re investing in the opportunity for a lifelong career,” Lloyd said.
Implementation of the additional computer science curriculum offering will begin this summer.
“A recent Los Angeles Community College District student survey showed that 45% of our employed students lost their jobs during the pandemic,” said LACCD Chancellor Dr. Francisco C. Rodriguez.
“We applaud and embrace Los Angeles Unified and Amazon’s partnership to help our students gain relevant work experience while they study. Our program provides all full-time, entering students with two years of tuition-free education, a laptop, priority enrollment, and counseling to help students complete their AA degree or transfer to a university.”
Students interested in learning more about the program should visit amazon.com/lastudenthourlyjobs.