Working LA Series: Young Workers in Los Angeles as Applied Researchers and Advocates for Change

Janna Shadduck-Hernandez

Young workers are the faces that greet us in coffee shops hotels, retail stores, restaurants and grocery markets. They are the cashiers and
baristas at Starbucks, stockers and security guards at Walmart, sales people in mall chain stores, and servers in fast food restaurant franchises. Despite their visibility, there is a lack of understanding of who working youth really are. The Young Workers in  Los Angeles as Applied Researchers and Advocates for Change project uses participatory action research to document and disseminate the experiences of young workers in Los Angeles employed in low-wage industries like restaurant, retail, grocery, hotel/hospitality, and customer service. The purpose of this project is to increase the capacity of young workers, students and youth and worker advocates to conduct research and publicly promote findings and recommend best practice strategies based on their experiences in the low-wage service sector economy. Ultimately, our goal is to impact policies that will increase wages and promote equality and mobility among young workers within the current Los Angeles labor market.

Brochure PDF


Photo attribution: Henry Faber, used under CC BY / Cropped from original