Sinn Féin Junior Minister Martina Anderson MLA met with Fabian Montes of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles at the Assembly yesterday to hear about his experience working with the Gangs to Employment Project in LA.
After the meeting, alongside the DUP's Jonathan Bell, Martina Anderson said: "Fabian Montes works with the Homeboys Industries in Los Angeles and was invited here by the Irish Institute's Empowering Marginalised Youth Programme, supported by the US Consulate. Homeboy Industries runs four businesses in LA that serve as job training sites for marginalised youth, offering comprehensive services to all who walk through it's door
"While Homeboy primarily focuses on disenfranchised and marginalised youth in Los Angeles, some of its principles could be applied to young people here, particularly those living in interface areas. We could learn much from the application of some of the principles on which Homeboy Industries is founded.
"Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson met Fabian Montes during their visit to Los Angeles in 2009 when they visited Homeboy Industries main campus and witnessed first hand the work that the Institute does to help young people move from a life of crime to full time employment."