The Los Angeles Unified School District announced a partnership with Amazon to help ensure that graduating seniors who are facing serious financial hardship do not have to postpone or forgo a college education.
Under this program, LAUSD students who graduate and enroll full-time in community college will have the opportunity to secure one of several hundred jobs with flexible hours that Amazon will help make available to these students. This will allow students to attend classes and still earn money to help support their families. The initial cohort of students will be eligible to participate in the program immediately following their graduation in June 2021.
“This crisis is having the greatest impact on students from families who are struggling to get by. We’ve seen it in job losses, increased food and housing insecurity and higher rates of illness and death due to COVID-19,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “We have also seen the impact this crisis is having in declining numbers of high school graduates who are attending two-year colleges. The portion of graduates from the class of 2020 who attended two-year colleges directly after graduation decreased to 30% from 39% the prior year, or about 3,000 fewer students. The greatest declines occurred in low-income communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Many students told us they couldn’t afford to continue their studies because they needed to work to help support their family.
“We reached out to Amazon to help provide the missing piece,” Beutner added. “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. This partnership with Amazon is just a start. I hope many other employers in the region join us in this effort to make sure every student has the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”
“Economic wellness is essential for our talented students,” board member Mónica García said. “I am thrilled and grateful to all who helped create this pathway for self-sufficiency and learning to propel the next generation of workers, entrepreneurs and professionals. I invite all more of the private sector to step in and join this effort.”
“Trying to balance a job and a class load is a challenge,” said Marie Lloyd, Amazon’s Southern California manager of external affairs. “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.”
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 that 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.
“A recent Los Angeles Community College District student survey showed that 45% of our employed students lost their jobs during the pandemic,” LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez said. “We applaud and embrace Los Angeles Unified and Amazon’s partnership to help our students gain relevant work experience while they study.
“This great opportunity perfectly complements our cohorts of LA College Promise Program students,” Rodriguez continued. “Our program provides all full-time, entering students with two years of tuition-free education, a laptop, priority enrollment and counseling to help promise students complete their AA degree or transfer to a university.”
Students interested in learning more about the program can visit amazon.com/lastudenthourlyjobs.
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