To help the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community get connected with the employment resources they need, Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) has partnered with the city of Los Angeles to launch the API JOBS (Job Opportunities and Business Success) Initiative, which was announced on January 26.

“This initiative, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, will be the first of its kind to serve the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community in providing and connecting vocational training, employment, career pathway, community and social services to linguistically isolated participants and their family members,” KCCD said in a statement.

“This is historic,” said Hyepin Im, the president of KCCD. “But we know that this is just the start of the journey.”

Im said that though there are numerous employment opportunities and resources available to the Asian community, many are not able to take advantage of them due to language barriers. The API JOBS Initiative would provide orientations, job readiness workshops, and other programs to help members of the Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in-language.

KCCD will specifically be collaborating with the California Labor Federation Workforce and Economic Development Program, and Workforce Connections Inc., to carry out the API JOBS Initiative.

Jan Perry, the general manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department for the City of Los Angeles, said that though there was a “competitive bid” to secure funding from the city, “KCCD was selected because of its many years spent building their vision by providing a wide array of social services, and a very well thought out strategic positioning in reaching out to the community.”

Charlie Woo, the chair of the Workforce Development Board in the City of Los Angeles, expressed excitement for the initiative, and recalled his own experiences of seeing members of the API community not getting access to employment resources.

“I’m excited to see how Asian Americans will lead the way in this initiative,” he added. “Many underserved people will benefit from this.”

Other partnering organizations include Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment, CAUSE, Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, the Los Angeles Community College District Board, Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, and Thai CDC, among others.

Through the initiative, KCCD will host orientations and workshops in the coming weeks, including two orientations on February 7 and 10. Resume and job readiness workshops will take place between February 21 to 22, and February 28 to March 1.

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