LA City College hosts transgender career fair

A government-funded career fair for transgender workers was held on the Los Angeles City College (LACC) campus Monday.

Attendees were able to meet representatives from more than 50 companies, including Amazon, NBC Universal, and Target. Anyone could attend, but the event was hosted especially for the transgender community, according to The Los Angeles Daily News.

The job fair was a program of the City of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development Board. Financial support came from the city and Title I of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA) Act, a law meant to support job seekers with disabilities.

The Workforce Development Board billed the event as “a unique job fair focused on connecting transgender job seekers with employment opportunities in Los Angeles and surrounding communities.”

Potential employers went through a sensitivity training session before the job fair started, so that they could learn how to deal with transgender job seekers and employees. The director of a local staffing agency told The Los Angeles Daily News that employers were often unaware of the challenges transgender job seekers faced.

One study has found that the unemployment rate for transgender individuals is two to four times higher than the national average, and that rates of homelessness, drug use, sex work, and HIV infection are higher in the transgender community.

A flyer lists more than a dozen sponsors, including the Office of the Mayor. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti authorized a city transgender advisory council earlier this year, making LA the largest city in the country with a permanent transgender advisory council dedicated to informing local government on transgender issues.

Garcetti also signed a pledge in April to protect transgender rights, and announced a boycott on government travel to North Carolina and Mississippi, states with laws that negatively affect the transgender community.

“Our tax dollars won’t fund intolerance here,” Garcetti said at a press conference.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @RiersonNC