February 2017 marks the first anniversary of “LeadersUp Month,” an honor we received last year from Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe for helping to create partnerships between local training organizations, municipal leaders, and businesses that connect Angelenos to career pathways. Our focus for February is to celebrate the innate skill all our young adults possess and that the 21st century workforce needs: hustle. Every day we see the hustle: to graduate, to commute across town for trainings and to learn new skills, and the hustle to keep going in spite of the odds. Hustle links knowledge to action, and to help celebrate and kick off LeadersUp Month, I am honored to share my TEDxCrenshaw Talk titled, “The 21st Century Economy Requires Hustle.”
Uncovering the Hidden Talent in Our Communities
Throughout this TEDx Talk, I discuss my personal experiences of perseverance – that inherent potential called “hustle,” and the determination to pursue goals, to advance in one’s workplace or career, and how that skill lives within the 5.5 million Opportunity Youth across the country. Today in Los Angeles County, there are currently more than 300,000 vacant jobs. In that same county, we have nearly 200,000 talented young adults who are disconnected from the community, the workforce, and school.
I believe their lack of engagement is due to lack of exposure; our young adults become what they see. There is an exposure gap plaguing the success of our young people. In order to overcome this, we need to break down barriers to opportunity and provide access to mirrors—mirrors of thriving professionals who look like and identify with young adults.
Creating a Mirror of the Future
I am also proud to share the launch of our latest workforce initiative titled Career 360°, a digital career-exploration series that will allow young adults to go behind-the-scenes and glimpse a Day In the Life of notable professionals in growing industries. Our goal is to show the next generation of talent that a profession is more than a job—it includes volunteerism, civic engagement, and advocacy. We are shining a light on today’s leaders because their legacy is making history—right now.
In honor of Black History Month we are focusing a lens on young African American professionals making strides in the workforce. Our very own Program Manager of Instruction & Advancement, Miles Goodloe, will be kicking off the campaign on Thursday, February 2 via our Instagram account at @Leaders_Up. Over the next four weeks we will showcase leaders in tech, entertainment, and emerging young adults starting their career journey.
Follow the Leaders Making History!
We encourage you to follow our career-exploration campaign this February and sign up for our updates. Every Thursday we will introduce a new professional. If you would like to be among the leaders sharing your Career 360°, please submit your information here and follow the hashtag #MakingHistory for the latest stories.