Santiago Baizan (center) with Senior Business Development Officer John Wilson (left) and Senior Financial Empowerment Coach Treasure Owens (right) from Vernon Central WSC
The Vernon Central WorkSource Center recently helped a man get off the streets, resolve his debts and provided financial support to help him achieve his dream of becoming a union electrician.

Last year, Santiago Baizan was homeless, out of work and stressed about his credit when he began taking a Financial Empowerment Workshop at the Vernon Central WSC, run by EWDD partner the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD).

A senior financial coach provided Santiago guidance toward resources that helped him address his credit issues, including assistance to delete medical items and tickets from his credit report. Once he fixed his credit issues, Santiago regained his focus and took further steps to turn his life around.

LA Valley College President Erika Endrijonas speaks at the Workforce Strategy Center Opening (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
On Friday September 8, 2017, City of Los Angeles EWDD staff joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and higher education and workforce development leaders at the grand opening of the City of LA’s Workforce Strategy Center at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC).

The center launch focused on three high-growth sectors in the Greater LA area: Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, and Transportation.

Both LAVC’s Advanced Manufacturing Academy and Biotech Bridge Training Academy have a demonstrated history of successfully placing individuals into living wage careers. In addition, LAVC’s

World Harvest Food Bank Volunteers distributing donations
When Glen Curado, CEO and Founder of World Harvest Food Bank in Downtown Los Angeles found out that his rent was about to double, the South LA BusinessSource Center helped the organization find an affordable new location three times the size of its current warehouse, providing additional space to store food donations and feed even more families.

“We’re going to be able to bring more food, products and resources to help families,” Glen said. “It’s going to be so much better.”

Currently located in a 7,500 square-foot facility at 3200 South Grand Avenue, the food bank is relocating to a 27,000 square-foot facility at

WSC Re-Entry Program participant Chris is starting a new career in construction
After serving 28 years in prison, Chris is rebuilding his life and starting his dream career in construction, thanks to help from the Vernon Central WorkSource Center (WSC).

Chris was recently paroled and had trouble finding work due to his criminal background. He heard about an employment program for the re-entry population offered at Los Angeles Trade Tech College (LATTC) through the Vernon Central WorkSource Center, which is run by EWDD partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development.

Through the program, Chris also received support from Friends Outside Los Angeles County, a group that specializes in social services for the previously incarcerated and their families.

EWDD General Manager Jan Perry with Charles Bailey, an LA:RISE Success Story
More than 1,000 people have found work through the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE), a five-year program designed to serve the populations hardest to place in jobs, including the homeless, those with histories of past incarcerations and disconnected youth.

On Thursday, August 24, 2017, LA:RISE partners, supporters and participants celebrated the program’s early successes and the expansion of the program into the County of Los Angeles with an event at the historic Kim Sing Theatre in LA’s Chinatown. LA:RISE is administered by the City of Los Angeles EWDD, in partnership with REDF, a venture philanthropy that supports employment social enterprise and the County of Los Angeles Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services

The North Valley BSC assisted an entrepreneur with securing a loan to purchase this Canoga Park auto body shop
The North Valley BusinessSource Center, operated by the Valley Economic Development Center, helped an entrepreneur secure a loan to purchase an auto body shop.

Moises Vidales visited the North Valley BusinessSource Center, seeking help to obtain a $100,000 loan to purchase a well-maintained auto body business in Canoga Park.

BSC staff conducted a site visit and inspection of the auto body shop and determined that the business resides in a great location in the Valley – an industrial auto repair district.

Youth Staff Elis Lee poses with the interns at the EWDD culmination event for the Peer Financial Coaches
On Thursday, August 17, 2017, EWDD hosted a culmination event honoring a dozen Peer Financial Coaches who spent the summer teaching youth about financial best practices at ten YouthSource Centers throughout LA.

"You have helped fund the future of a girl who once believed she was destined to fall into the pits of drugs and violence," said Peer Financial Coach Kensi Martinez, reflecting on her experience during the culmination.

“Thanks to this summer employment, I got to explore my interest in finance, which I plan to major in, as well as pay the $126 deposit I could not originally afford to pay to enroll in college. I promise one day I'll repay back the education and experience you have granted me."

Bank of America interns at the USC University Village grand opening event on August 17, 2017
The Bank of America’s Financial Center Internship Program, also known as its Consumer Jobs Program places high school senior and college freshman age students at its financial centers to help youth develop personal and professional skills. Interns learn financial literacy skills and are exposed to the banking industry.

They develop customer service skills as lobby ambassadors. They also develop an understanding of the importance of following a code of ethics and increase their risk awareness through interactions with customers.

As a part of the University of Southern California Village’s Grand Opening on August 17, 2017, the interns were invited to promote Bank of America products and services at its

EWDD's WorkSource Center Employment Re-Entry Program Success Stories
The Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) Updates Newsletter from the week of August 14, 2017, features the employment re-entry success stories of five individuals from the WorkSource Center in Sun Valley, operated by El Proyecto del Barrio and the WorkSource Center in Northeast LA, operated by Goodwill Industries.

These stories are about participants of EWDD’s re-entry program, which helps formerly incarcerated individuals find work. We have provided last names only to protect these individuals’ identities.


A Fresh Start – Re-Entry Participants Find Work in Construction Industry

EWDD Youth Staff members Chang Kim, Karina Henriquez, Elis Lee and Brenda Anderson at the Central Avenue Jazz Festival
The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department participates in community events throughout the year to promote the job training and business services available at EWDD’s YouthSource, WorkSource and BusinessSource Centers. In late July, EWDD staff spread the word about the department’s programs at the 22nd Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival in South Los Angeles.

The Central Avenue Jazz Festival is a free event that takes place each year during the last weekend in July. The festival, started in 1996, regularly features a number of prominent jazz, blues, and latin musicians who got their start in the area. The event also spotlights young Los Angeles musicians as well as talent from the neighborhood's high school bands and choirs.

The LATTC WorkSource guided Nancy Santiago toward a new career
Nancy Santiago was working toward an Associate of Arts degree in Child Development at LATTC but when life circumstances prevented her from continuing her studies, she turned to the Vernon-Central/LATTC WorkSource Center for assistance in finding a job.

A career coach helped Nancy update her resume, polish her interview skills and advised Nancy to leverage her work experience and background in education to apply for Early Intervention Specialist positions.

After a month of job searching and interviewing, Nancy accepted a position as a Child Behavioral Interventionist through Easter Seals Southern California, an organization that offers resources for

LATTC Career Coach Jessica Fuentes helped veteran Steven Pantola find a rewarding job
After completing military service, Steven Pantola had trouble finding satisfying work. He tried sales, banking, customer service but his search for more fulfilling work continued.

He turned to the Vernon-Central/LATTC Work Source Center. With the encouragement of a career coach, Steven accepted a temporary job with the University of Southern California working with the homeless population. It was there that Steven finally found work that made him happy.

After completing the job assignment, Steven found a job as an Outreach Worker with the Volunteers of America where he refers participants