September 18, 2018–To support architecture students facing housing insecurity and with DACA status, at imminent risk of becoming homeless and/or living without safe and reliable access to shelter, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA) is establishing an internship program.
As an architecture firm that is committed to an equitable and inclusive future for the profession, we are soliciting your involvement in this program. Firms that join the program will commit to supplying at-risk architecture students from universities and colleges with paid internships.
WHY SUPPORT THE PROGRAM?
As many as 20% of architecture students in Los Angeles County are housing insecure, meaning they are living in shelters, cars, or couch surfing. A number of these students receive financial help from their university or from the state, but many do not, and all of them struggle to keep up with the demands of school while finding secure accommodations. These financial issues are exacerbated for architecture students with DACA status who often struggle to find work, as many employers are hesitant to hire them, unaware that DACA status grants the legal right to work. These are highly motivated students looking to overcome poverty and become serious architects. As such they are likely to be valuable, hardworking employees. It will benefit the LA area’s architecture firms and these students if we work together for mutual benefit.
AIA|LA’s goal is to enroll at least 25 architecture firms that will commit to hiring at-risk students to ensure gainful employment in the field. Participating firms are expected to pay these student interns a minimum of $15/hour.
We will then share this list of dedicated and committed architecture firms with the faculty and staff of the LA-area architecture & design schools, so that they in turn can share greater awareness of this program and its inherent opportunities with students at risk of homelessness.
If you’re an architecture firm that is committed to solving our housing affordability & availability crisis and will commit to employing student interns at a living wage to ensure that they have opportunities to continue their education, please support the program and pledge your support by joining this program here.
The AIA|LA will announce the names of the participating firms and will organize mentorship opportunities and networking opportunities to highlight and celebrate each firm’s involvement.
The AIA|LA will update this list of participating firms on an as-needed basis (every six months) to ensure that it remains a reliable resource for the area architecture & design schools.
Thank you for supporting this program and supporting future architects and emerging professionals.