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Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

Job Service for ‘Justice-Involved’

 The Los Angeles Office of Diversion and Reentry has partnered with several Valley nonprofits to launch a new job training and mental health support pilot program called SECTOR.The $4 million annual Skills and Experience for the Careers of Tomorrow, or SECTOR program, is funded by a Prop 47 grant from the Board of State and Community Corrections. It serves participants over the age of 18 who have been arrested, charged with, or convicted of a criminal offense and have struggled with mental health challenges or a substance disorder. The pilot program aims to serve 500 clients in its first year and provide job training, paid work experience, mental health resources and assistance in finding full-time employment in high-paying industries after program completion.Chrysalis, a nonprofit with five L.A.-area locations including a Valley office in Pacoima, will serve roughly 50 percent of clients enrolled in the program during its first year. Other Valley partners include Alliance for Community Empowerment in Canoga Park and Center for Living and Learning in Van Nuys.  “I really see this as a key way for us to grow and expand our services to the community and get really life-sustaining jobs in the hands of folks that really, really need it and want it,” Mark Loranger, chief executive of Chrysalis, said.

“The SECTOR program is our attempt to expand the availability of employment services that are tailored specifically to the justice-involved population,” Kate Vacanti, senior manager of Reentry Workforce Initiatives with the Office of Diversion and Reentry, said in an interview. “Our focus is on helping people with justice involvement access careers in high-growth sectors that offer good-paying jobs and career advancement, and jobs that are really in the top sectors within L.A. County.”Chrysalis specializes in providing job training and resources for homeless, low-income and formerly incarcerated people to build pathways to employment. With the SECTOR program, Chrysalis will provide additional services including one-on-one career coaching for each client and cognitive behavioral intervention courses for individuals with medium to high risk of recidivism.“The clients that come to Chrysalis in general, or are attracted to a program like SECTOR, are folks that have got a lot of stuff going on in their lives,” Loranger said. “If these individuals were to walk into a traditional unemployment office, they’re going to get services, but they’re not going to get the deep care approach that touches on housing stability, and justice interaction and childcare and mental health and on and on. That is, in our belief, what it really takes to be successful with not just helping somebody today, but setting them up for long-term success.” 

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.

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