Amazon partnership to open hundreds of jobs for LAUSD graduates from low-income families

The first cohort of students will be able to start the LAUSD-Amazon program following graduation in June.
EL SERENO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner announced a groundbreaking partnership with Amazon on Monday in which hundreds of jobs will be made available for high school graduates from low-income families.

As part of the new program, students must also be enrolled to attend a community college full-time.

"It's an amazing opportunity. I think it will help me have a flexible schedule and be able to help my mom," said Christian Mendoza, a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School. "Unfortunately, my mom was diagnosed with blood cancer and she was unable to work. So there was no income and we only relied on food stamps. So it's been hard."

According to district officials, this will help graduates who are facing serious financial struggles. And now won't have to postpone a college education.

"This means so much because I can afford to pay part of my college," said Arlin De Leon, a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Beutner said there was a noticeable decrease in college attendance for some graduates from the Class of 2020.

"The greatest declines occurred in low-income communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19," said Beutner. "Many students tell us they couldn't afford to continue their studies because they needed to work to help support their family."

Amazon said they will help prepare students to apply for the jobs, which includes working at the Amazon grocery store or packaging orders.

"These jobs will provide the same pay and benefits that all Amazon jobs offer," said Marie Lloyd, Southern California manager of external affairs with Amazon. "At least $15 an hour and industry leading benefits like paid time off and health care."

In addition to work experience, Amazon officials said they will also provide flexible hours to help students go to school and earn money to help their families. Students will also be able to apply for scholarships after their first year of employment.

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