YO! Watts donated over 400 bags of healthy food to local families
The YO! Watts YouthSource Center celebrated its new location at 1773 East Century Boulevard by donating more than 400 bags of healthy food to local families and hosting a holiday dinner party for 175 guests on December 21, 2017.

EWDD General Manager Jan Perry toured the three-story facility with Hugh Carter, director of the YO! Watts YouthSource Center.

The center includes a gym, a computer lab and staff offices.

Fresa y kiwi paleta from Sabores Michoacán, courtesy of the Sabores Michoacán facebook page
The North Valley BusinessSource Center helped entrepreneur Marisela Bulgarin achieve her dream of opening Sabores Michoacán, a Mexican ice cream parlor in the North East San Fernando Valley.

North Valley BusinessSource staff helped Marisela develop a business plan through one-on-one consultations, along with assistance filing permits and licenses and lease review.

EWDD partner Managed Career Solutions sent 17 workers from the Hollywood WorkSource and BusinessSource centers to Southern California's first Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program, administered by the US Department of Labor
On Thursday, December 14, 2017, staff from the Hollywood WorkSource and BusinessSource Centers completed a year-long course in Southern California’s first Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program, administered by the US Department of Labor.

Started in January 2017, the program provided 144 hours of class instruction, including innovative lessons and theories designed to help workforce and economic development workers improve their programs.

Former LAP3 Youth Ambassador Steven Mason now works at EWDD and is taking steps toward a bright future
When Steven Mason was growing up, his parents told his younger sister to not follow his example, to build a life opposite of the one he pursued.

“Whatever you can think of as far as crime, I did it,” Steven said, now age 22.

At age 13, Steven brought a knife to school to defend himself against a bully who taunted him for his stutter. He then

Entrepreneur Leon Nyarecha obtained a development loan with assistance from the Harbor BusinessSource Center
The Harbor BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped entrepreneur Leon Nyarecha obtain a $2,000 loan to develop an app-based retail store that sells Simple Scooper – a compact, easy to use dog poop scooper which prevents dog owners from ever having to touch dog poop.

Leon was looking for assistance to get SimpleScooper LLC off the ground when a former client referred him to the Harbor BSC in September 2017.

Children received toys and gifts donated to the PLN YouthSource Staff
Nearly 100 participants and family members from the Central and East Region Para Los Niños (PLN) YouthSource Centers attended the PLN Holiday Celebration on Tuesday December 20, 2017.

Students and guests enjoyed lunch and children received toys and gifts donated to the PLN YouthSource Staff. Attendees also played games facilitated by PLN staff.

Vernon-Central/LATTC WorkSource Center, operated by Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD)
The Vernon-Central WorkSource Center at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) provided comprehensive support services to a former foster youth, helping the young mother overcome barriers that could derail her path to college graduation.

Three years ago, Tiffany, 25, had exited foster care and was struggling to provide for her twin boys. She said she was drifting without a plan when she experienced a major loss. Her sons were taken away.

“Instead of dwelling on something that’s negative, I decided to turn it into a positive,” she said. “I had to get it together, and I knew I had to do everything right.”

Biotech Bridge Training Academy students celebrated their recent graduation from the program and are now prepared for careers in biomanufacturing
A dozen students recently graduated from the Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) Biotech Bridge Training Academy and are in the midst of interviews for jobs that will launch their careers in biomanufacturing.

“One of the most inspiring aspects of this training academy is that the students are all in it together,” said graduate Joyce Thomas. “Bonds have been formed among strangers who are now friends and colleagues.”

The six-week intensive training program, run by EWDD partner LAVC, teaches individuals, who have experienced a period of unemployment, technical and workforce readiness skills that allow them to transition into new careers in biomanufacturing.

An applicant approaches the booth of EWDD partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) at the job fair
EWDD’s Workforce Development Division and partners came out in force to staff Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first-ever Homeless Services Job Fair, with several WorkSource Centers offering jobs, resume review and interview coaching to the 753 job seekers in attendance.

EWDD General Manager Jan Perry attended the event, expressing thanks to EWDD partners who helped with set-up and provided job coaching to applicants.

“EWDD is proud to have been a part of this initiative to find and hire qualified individuals who will treat LA’s homeless population with dignity and care, and provide the support and services they need,” Jan said.

Yo quiero Bengee's Ice Cream! EWDD helped entrepreneur Foulay open a second location in Echo Park. Courtesy of @yolandi_eats_la (Instagram)
The Central West Los Angeles BusinessSource Center assisted entrepreneur Foulay Saelor in securing a $100,000 Small Business Administration Community Advantage loan, allowing him to expand his Bengee’s Ice Cream business and open a second location in Echo Park.

Foulay opened the first Bengee’s in Pasadena in 2015 to much fanfare, receiving a mention in Los Angeles Magazine and a feature in Eater Los Angeles that raved about its variety of vegan flavors (including Thai tea and Café No Lait). Still, even with publicity and Foulay’s full time commitment to the business, he encountered challenges with cash flow, a common issue for small business start-ups.

ELAC UAV students with Academy instructor Sangbum “Sam” Choi (far left)
For 10 weeks, nearly 40 individuals spent their Fridays and Saturdays devoted to honing their math skills and learning three computer coding languages to learn how to program and fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), otherwise known as drones.

“I never expected that the City and Community Colleges would offer a program as good as this,” said Oscar Vasquez, 23. “It’s offering more opportunities to explore different careers. It’s great!”

EWDD funded the UAV Academy at East Los Angeles College (ELAC), offering an opportunity for qualified students to introduce them to an emerging key growth industry

Former Pacific Alliance Medical Center employees receive assistance from EWDD’s Rapid Response team
EWDD’s Rapid Response team recently provided an overview of unemployment benefits and job training resources to approximately 235 individuals impacted by the November 30, 2017 closure of the Pacific Alliance Medical Center (PAMC) in LA’s Chinatown.

EWDD staff learned of the impending hospital closure on October 12, 2017. EWDD reached out to PAMC to offer their Rapid Response Team services, which include providing support to Los Angeles-area businesses undergoing transitions, including layoffs, by informing employees about access to resources such as assistance in obtaining unemployment insurance, job training and computer skills.

On November 7, 2017, EWDD led a planning meeting with PAMC,