Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace Owners of Leimart Park area eatery The South LA Café
The South Los Angeles BusinessSource Center helped entrepreneurs Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace obtain a $250,000 loan, an infusion of capital that will allow them to launch the South LA Café.

Joe and Celia’s vision for the South LA Café is to create a gathering place and cultural hub that could provide affordable healthy food options, along with gourmet coffee. They also wanted to build a place with rentable space for community events, along with regular weekend and evening entertainment.

the 150 attendees of EWDD Financial Management Division's Financial Grants Management Training pose outside of the Southern California Goodwill office Community Room

EWDD’s Financial Management Division (FMD) conducted an intensive two-day Financial Grants Management Training for EWDD subrecipients September 25 to 26, 2019 at the Goodwill of Southern California Community Room. The training room was set up for 150 attendees and was at near capacity both days.

EWDD Interim General Manager John L. Reamer, Jr. and Assistant General Manager of Workforce Development Robert Sainz welcomed attendees and reminded them of the critical roles fiscal officers and staff play in administering EWDD’s various grant programs.

Compass Rose Collaborative September 2019 Cohort for the Forklift Training Program
A dozen Compass Rose Collaborative (CRC) participants assembled Friday September 27, 2019 for forklift training in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The forklift training is one component of safety training, including OSHA10 and CPR, that participants take to receive a pre-apprenticeship certificate, a pathway to the construction trades.

“This was one of the best cohorts,” said EWDD Senior Project Assistant Juan Romero, who oversees the program. “The men were focused. A lot of them are ready to join the workforce. They were really good.”

(left to right) EWDD Interim General Manager John L Reamer, Jr, REDF Principal Consultant Strategic Partnerships Vivienne Lee, LA Workforce Development Board Chair Charlie Woo, and EWDD Assistant General Manager Robert Sainz
The Center at Cathedral Plaza was packed Monday September 30, 2019 for “A Pathway Forward: Homeless to Hired Summit,” an event celebrating the fifth year of the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE).

The event, held by LA:RISE partner the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), commemorated the launch of the fifth year of the program, which has successfully placed more than 2,500 participants in subsidized or transitional employment, including 950 participants that have successfully made the leap from transitional employment to permanent employment.

Elizabeth Rojas, owner of Eli's Crafts, shows off her City of LA business license that the North Valley BusinessSource Center helped her obtain
The North Valley Region BusinessSource Center (BSC) provided extensive business coaching to entrepreneur Elizabeth Rojas, helping her launch Eli’s Crafts, a business specializing in custom products.

Elizabeth was unemployed following surgery after an accident and was trying to figure out a new way to make money. She started personalizing coffee cups and noticed people were interested in paying for them.

participants of the Compass Rose Collaborative (CRC) September 2019 Cohort participating in construction training
Approximately 15 participants from the latest cohort of the Compass Rose Collaborative (CRC) program are completing training that is preparing them for construction jobs at the $1 billion Lucas Museum site, along with restoration efforts at the Woolsey Fire site in Malibu.

The most recent cohort participated in a 3-week training to earn pre-apprenticeship certifications in Forklift, OSHA10 and CPR. The City of LA was one of three cities awarded the CRC grant from the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration in June 2018.

Crystal Duran displays the storefront of her dance academy, CrystalArts
The MidCity Region BusinessSource Center assisted dance teacher Crystal Duran in securing a $5,000 mini micro loan that will allow her to upgrade up her business, CrystalArts Dance Academy.

Crystal obtained a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology-Dance from Cal State Northridge and worked as a choreographer for several years. In 2015 she opened her dance academy.

the exterior of recently remodeled Lupita’s Corner Market in Westlake Park
The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) provided grant funding to renovate Lupita’s Corner Market, a transformation that creates a healthy food option in LA’s Westlake/MacArthur Park.

EWDD gave financial support for the project by providing Community Development Block Grant funding to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, which spearheads the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network Program (HNMNP). The HNMNP addresses Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to introduce healthy food options to the City’s food deserts. The program builds the capacity of corner stores by assisting neighborhood market owners to operate as successful healthy food retailers in underserved communities.

Downtown Taco Company food truck
The Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center has provided long-term assistance to Pablo Romero, owner and operator of Downtown Taco, located in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles.

Pablo first came to the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource as a taco street vendor working throughout the streets of Los Angeles. After an initial assessment, the BusinessSource provided Pablo with training in permits and licensing, business entities and access to capital.

LA:RISE Participant Erick, posing in a moss green hoodie
Erick joined social enterprise Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) and the LA:RISE program when financial difficulties left him unable to keep up with bills and put him at risk of becoming homeless.

Working at LACC has equipped Erick with both marketable and soft skills he needs to succeed in the workforce. From learning to master a variety of workshop tools, to communicating effectively with his coworkers, Erick is job-ready.

EWDD Booth at KJLH 2019 Men’s EmpowerMENt Summit
With support from the Harbor WorkSource Center and EWDD partner Friends Outside, EWDD hosted a booth at the KJLH Men’s EmpowerMENt summit September 7, 2019 highlighting free job training and educational benefits available through the City’s Gang Injunction Curfew Settlement.

In the weeks leading up to the event, EWDD, in partnership with the LA City Attorney’s Office, launched a radio and social media campaign with KJLH to spread the word about the program.

Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) sign announcing the Jobs Plus Initiative
The Watts/Los Angeles WorkSource Center, operated by EWDD partner the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), will administer job training and supportive services to 250 Nickerson Gardens residents through a $3.7 million Jobs Plus Initiative Grant.

Awarded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the grant is geared toward training public housing residents for employment. Through the grant, Nickerson Gardens residents will receive training and placement for careers in healthcare and construction.