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How This Former Councilwoman Is Helping Vets and the Homeless Find Jobs A Los Angeles civil servant explains the challenges related to the work force today.

By Lambeth Hochwald

This story appears in the January 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you're looking to hire, there are plenty of places to find qualified workers. But few people are working as tirelessly to connect a specialized work force—military veterans and the formerly homeless—with good jobs as Jan Perry, who has served as general manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department for the city of Los Angeles since 2013.

One of Perry's biggest programs, Los Angeles WorkSource Center, is all about getting people—especially those who have been out of the work force for an extended period—into jobs. It's a cause that Perry, a former L.A. councilwoman who has served in leadership positions with the city for nearly 25 years and ran for mayor in 2013, has long championed. An advocate for both small-business owners and workers, Perry oversees efforts that have included offering more than $600 million in financing and technical assistance programs to promote business growth and job creation in economically depressed areas of L.A.

We asked Perry to tell us more about challenges related to the work force today.

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