LOS ANGELES (Jan. 28, 2016) – The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of more than 30 top U.S. companies including FedEx, HMS Host, Nordstrom, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Sprinkles, Taco Bell, Target, TOMS, Walmart and more, will kick off a long-term effort to connect Los Angeles County’s more than 200,000 Opportunity Youth – 16-24 year olds who are disconnected from school and employment – to meaningful job opportunities and resources. The coalition is partnering with the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, the Alliance for Children’s Rights & Los Angeles Opportunity Youth Collaborative, LA County Chamber of Commerce, Unite LA, Los Angeles Unified School District, LeadersUp, and more than 30 other community-based organizations to bring this one-of-a-kind job fair and forum to the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 11. Youth are welcome to learn more and register for free at www.100kOpportunities.org/la.
The Opportunity Fair and Forum is expected to bring together nearly 4,000 youth to interview with dozens of leading employers, practice their interview skills, learn to build a compelling resume, connect with a range of social services, and receive coaching on their job applications. Companies are also expected to make hundreds of job offers on the spot, modeling similar job fairs the initiative hosted in Chicago and Phoenix, which collectively attracted more than 6,000 youth and generated more than 1,300 immediate job offers, launching a national effort to hire at least 100,000 Opportunity Youth nationwide by 2018.
“We have already taken extraordinary strides in our efforts to support today’s young people in Chicago and Phoenix, but our work is far from done,” said Brian Niccol, Chief Executive Officer for Taco Bell, on behalf of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. “Right here in Los Angeles County, where Taco Bell began, we know that nearly 19 percent of young people are out of school and not working, while hundreds of open positions go unfilled each day. As one of America’s top employers and a company passionate about building communities and helping youth find their passions, we have a unique opportunity to inspire young people to tap into their potential by equipping them with skills to succeed on the job and in life.”
A Call to Action in Los Angeles
Two in five people who are unemployed in Los Angeles County are between the ages of 16 and 24, with 19 percent absent from the workforce or school. Further, 23.2 percent of African American youth and 14.6 percent of Latino youth are disconnected, representing a significant proportion of the nearly quarter-of-a-million Opportunity Youth in LA County. The coalition will team up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and their teams to ensure it is leading a cross-sector, multi-agency effort to expand employment and education opportunities for youth and sustain impact in the long term.
“Our young people are the lifeblood of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative shows us what is possible when we provide young men and women with access to job opportunities. It immediately brightens their prospects and sets them on a course for success that can last for a lifetime.”
“An opportunity is all these young people need—a chance to show their skills and to work hard. Los Angeles County is proud to continue investing in our youth, because we know the positive impact they will make in their community and the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Thank you to all businesses and organizations across the region for giving our kids a chance to prove themselves and start their paths to a successful career,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is generously supported by the Arizona Community Foundation, California Endowment, Dominos, FedEx, Hilton, HMS Host, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Macy’s, Papa John’s, Prudential Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Starbucks, Starbucks Foundation, Taco Bell, Target, T-Mobile, Walmart Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.Since launching in July 2015, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has grown to more than 30 leading U.S. companies including Alaska Airlines, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cintas, CVS Health, Delaware North, Dominos, FedEx, Hilton Worldwide, HMSHost, Hyatt, JCPenney, JPMorgan Chase, Lyft, Macy’s, Mars, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Porch.com, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Prudential, Red Robin, Republic Services, Sprinkles, Starbucks, Sweetgreen, Taco Bell, Target, Teavana, T-Mobile, TOMS, VILLA, Walgreens and Walmart.
For more leader quotes from members of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, visit:
Media interested in attending the event in Los Angeles must pre-register for credentials by contacting
About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has the goal of creating the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people. Companies engaged in the coalition will help to launch careers for young people that are just entering the workforce, including internships, apprenticeships and on the job training, in addition to developing potential in youth that have some work experience but are looking to gain new skills that lead to a successful career. For more information, please visit www.100kOpportunities.org.