COOP Careers Launches Free Los Angeles Program, Uplifts Local Graduates Pursuing Careers in Marketing and Technology

The LA program helps underemployed, Latinx, Black, and first-generation college graduates secure full-time digital marketing positions by building their technical skills and professional network

Today COOP Careers, a nonprofit focused on overcoming underemployment through digital skills and peer connections, announced the launch of its first 200-hour program in Los Angeles. It serves the city’s Latinx, Black, and first-generation college graduates.

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The free digital marketing program has already been successfully implemented in New York City and San Francisco since the mid-2010s, creating an alumni community of over 1,300. Within a year, 80% of participants have become fully employed at companies such as Microsoft, GroupM, IPG Mediabrands, and Publicis, among many others, with an average salary triple the pre-program average of $15,000.

Los Angeles has the second highest number of Latinx and Black graduates in the U.S., making it an important new hub for the nonprofit. The digital marketing program equips local, unemployed or underemployed graduates, who are disproportionately people of color, with the skills and professional social capital needed to secure jobs in the tech industry’s overwhelmingly homogeneous workforce.

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COOP Careers partnered with California State University and its campuses, from Dominguez Hills to Los Angeles to Fullerton to Long Beach, along with local nonprofit organizations serving Cal State graduates like College Track and City Year. Many of Cal State’s graduates, who worked throughout their college career, did not have the opportunity for traditional internships in the digital marketing field—lacking the network to secure that first, critical job opportunity.

“LA has a dynamic tech sector—and tens of thousands of first-generation grads who grew up here, who went to public schools and local universities, who overcame long odds to earn their degrees and a seat at the table,” said Kalani Leifer, founder and CEO, COOP Careers. “And many never even get the chance to interview for entry-level jobs at LA’s exciting digital companies. Alongside our amazing partners at Cal State, we can start to change that. By 2024, we’ll have a community of over a thousand local alumni, pulling each other into meaningful careers and up the corporate ladder.”

The program runs Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for 17 weeks until Dec. 10. The course is broken down into three pillars: Head, Heart and Hustle. This includes building technical skills like Excel and Google Ads and soft skills such as career navigation and community, and professional development items like resume building, cover letters and interview tips. The program is facilitated 100% by COOP alumni, who serve as captains while working full-time in the marketing and tech industries.

Current COOP Careers alumni are employed by numerous companies with a Los Angeles presence, including Reprise, CJ Affiliates, Zenith, iProspect, 360i, Omnicom Media Group, Horizon Media, Media Storm, Crossmedia and others.

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