Job fair geared toward transgender people to be held at LA City College

HOLLYWOOD — More than 50 employers are slated to attend a career fair geared toward transgender individuals at Los Angeles City College in Hollywood Monday.

The Diversity Job and Career Fair, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., aims to give transgender job seekers “a safe space to connect with potential employers. ... Without fear of discrimination,” organizers said in a news release.

The fair, which is open to the LGBT community and all other members of the public, will feature employers representing a variety of sectors and industries, including hospitality, retail, media, healthcare and logistics, organizers said. It will also feature a computer lab, resume assistance and on-site mock interviews.

The Diversity Job and Career Fair is hosted by the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board in partnership with the city’s Department on Disability and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

‘I think we’re doing something really new. It shouldn’t be but it is,” said Philip Starr, executive director of Managed Career Solutions, which operates the Hollywood WorkSource Center near Los Angeles City College. “I can’t think of a time when a diversity job fair has really focused on the transgender community.”

Transgender people are twice as likely to be unemployed while transgender people of color are up to four times as likely compared to the general population, according to a 2011 study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce.

Unemployed transgender people were about twice as likely to become homeless or turn to street-based economies, including sex work, 85 percent more likely to be incarcerated and more than twice as likely to become infected with HIV, the survey found.

Among the challenges transgender individuals can face are gaps in employment or inconsistent work histories and employers’ unfamiliarity with transgender individuals, Starr said.

“It could be that someone who is transgender never worked for that employer before; that’s something new for them,” he said. “It might be a surprise or unexpected. (Monday), it will be exactly what the employer expects.”

Sensitivity training for employers will begin at 8 a.m. at the college, according to organizers.

While the job fair is open to everyone, there will be additional services for transgender individuals in terms of outreach and community-based organizations that can help them during their job search, Starr said.

In March, Los Angeles became the country’s largest city to establish a permanent council of transgender community leaders to advise the city on serving the needs of transgender Angelenos, according to city officials.

“Today, the city of Los Angeles sends a clear message to transgender Angelenos; your voices matter and your experiences count,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement at the time.

Among the employers participating in the job fair are AIDS Project Los Angeles, AEG, Amazon, NBC Universal, the Los Angeles Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, SoCalGas, Warner Bros., Target and the Youth Policy Institute. 

The job fair will take place inside the Los Angeles City College’s student union at 4498 Monroe Street in Los Angeles. There will be free parking in Structure D adjacent to the student union.


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