LAYC's Workforce Investment offers a holistic program of job readiness, retail certification, job placement services, GED preparation, and support services for out-of-school youth ages 16-24.
Job Readiness Classes
Our 12-week curriculum covers:
Career Exploration Workshops
Working professionals from a variety of industries, including retail, hospitality, finance, health care, and construction, give lectures and lead workshops with participants. These guest instructors discuss career paths within their industries, share professional advice and insights, and provide instruction in specific skill areas such as customer service and personal financial management. In this way students gain “real world” knowledge directly from employers.
National Retail Federation ( NRF) Professional Certification in Customer Service
The National Retail Federation offers a National Professional Certification in Customer Service. This 40 hour curriculum was designed to develop the next generation of leaders in the retail industry and is a nationally recognized credential that helps prospective employees distinguish themselves from other candidates. The NRF class provides an overview of the retail industry, customer service, sales, and operational concepts, divided into the following five areas:
GED Preparation Classes
Participants without a high school diploma have the opportunity to take GED and pre-GED classes to prepare them for taking the “General Educational Development” exam. These classes focus on writing, literature/ reading, social studies, science, and math. We also offer academic tutoring.
We provide case management for youth to ensure successful completion of the program. Case managers assist students with matters ranging from housing assistance, transportation, child care referrals, and more. Case managers also interact with students on a daily basis to ensure students are moving forward with their goals.
Once participants complete the Job Readiness component and obtain their NRF Certification, they work with our Job Developer to obtain a job, internship, or apprenticeship. If a participant wishes to continue with school, the Job Placement Specialist and GED instructor will help him or her identify and apply to college.
It is our goal for all participants to continue their education and career development after receiving their GED and Job Readiness Training. Many of our graduates have gone on to enroll in universities, community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs. The overwhelming feedback from these students is that their time in our program prepared them for the demands of higher education and the professional world. Many students come to us with obstacles that can impede their progress toward their GED, barriers we seek to address through case management and career counseling, services that can also be continued after completion of the program. Ultimately the success of our students is self-determined, and with the right support, no goal is unattainable.
LAYC's Workforce Investment is led by Ana Hageage. Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Ms. Hageage started out as an archaeologist excavating Maya ruins in Belize before returning to the United States to work with the Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers in 2008 as a job developer. Ms. Hageage then returned to LAYC to serve as the Workforce Investment Director where she oversees the GED and Workforce Readiness programs for out-of-school youth.
Prior to returning to LAYC, Ana worked for National Council of La Raza (NCLR) as the Escalera Program Coordinator, where she managed a national workforce and college bridge program with an emphasis on high-risk populations. She contributed to NCLR's youth policy agenda by conducting research on their disconnected youth programs, serving on coalitions with other national advocacy and civil rights groups, and informing NCLR's position on youth policy initiatives.
Ana has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Maryland, and in her spare time enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, camping, and anything that requires her to be outdoors.