On May 2015, the YWCA Greater Los Angeles officially unveiled the Digital Learning Academy during a ribbon cutting ceremony and offered tours to attendees. This innovative partnership between the YWCA and Xerox provides training, hands-on experience, certification, and employment placement to an underserved youth population while offering a quality, low-cost printing solution for businesses.
“The first cohort of Digital Learning Academy students have completed section one of training which focused on graphic communications.
Students now possess a business understanding of the field of graphic communications; basic processes such as finishing, binding, and distribution; health and safety in the workplace for graphic workers; as well as an overview of various printable materials,” explained Tasha Carer, Director, Digital Learning Academy. “Unlike many training courses, the students, now into section two of the training, are working hands-on applying their knowledge.”
The program consists of four intensive courses over 24 weeks. The students meet regularly with a placement coordinator who helps identify their strengths to place them successfully in the technology workforce. Upon completion of the program, each student will graduate with a certificate of completion from Xerox and YWCA Greater Los Angeles.
Thus far, the print shop has printed several jobs. The price sheet is set and the internal YWCA Greater Los Angeles team is approaching companies for print business. This social enterprise continues to allow true hands-on experience for the students. Several companies have committed to hire a certain amount of students per year upon graduation.
“It is encouraging to see how eager and willing these students are to work. This dedication fuels our team. These are real people working for real, attainable goals,” continues Carter. “This makes us realize the magnitude of the work we are doing.”