L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

2024 Women's History Month Women-Owned Businesses Spotlight on Nicole Carrasco, owner of Masa Catalina, specializing in Filipino-Mexican fusion cuisine
Prior to the pandemic, Nicole Carrasco was a professional interior designer in the construction industry, where she led an entire team dedicated to construction drawings. At the time, she made poor food choices, missed many family dinners, and faced burnout. Soon after, she began questioning her lifestyle choices as she considered motherhood. As time passed, her dream of being a mom was about to materialize when the pandemic occurred, leaving Carrasco without a job just a month before giving birth. These series of events, plus her love for Filipino and Mexican food, prompted Carrasco to start

2024 Women's History Month EWDD Employee Spotlight on Rosa Penaloza and Yovana Perez
In honor of Women's History Month, EWDD highlights and celebrates the achievements of Rosa Penaloza and Yovana Perez, two women who are part of EWDD’s Economic Development Division. Both of these women continue to make a significant and positive impact in the Los Angeles business community.

February 29, 2024 - EWDD's JEDI Zone team and City Council District 7's tours the Van Nuys area Jobs & Economic Development Incentive (JEDI) Zone; EWDD’s General Manager Carolyn Hull, left front, and CD7 Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, right front
On Thursday, February 29, 2024, EWDD's JEDI Zone team and City Council District 7's team conducted a tour of the Van Nuys Jobs & Economic Development Incentive (JEDI) Zone. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez and EWDD’s General Manager Carolyn Hull visited local small businesses, Sabor a la Mexicana and A New Smile Dental Group, to inform them about the resources available to

exterior of Original Taco Pete's on South Slauson Ave in South Los Angeles
Aaron Jones, owner of Original Taco Pete’s, a legacy business in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, recently spoke with EWDD about how

Boketto Cold Brew - (clockwise starting in upper left corner) photo collage of Boketto cold brew coffee, cold brew pouches, OMG! tea, bicycle vending cart, and a professional espresso machine
To highlight more black-owned businesses that EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers have assisted, we interviewed Benjamin Westley, owner of Boketto Cold Brew, a sustainable artisan tea and coffee business.

The concept behind Boketto came to be at a time in Westley’s life when

February 8 - over 75 small business owners attended a Black Business Mixer hosted at the Main Kitchen restaurant in Canoga Park where they were offered advice and support from other local businesses, Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield (CD3) and John Lee (CD12), EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull (pictured second from right), and Civil+Human Rights and Equity Department General Manager Capri Maddox
On February 8 in Council District 3, a Black Business Mixer was hosted at the Main Kitchen restaurant. At the event, more than 75 small business owners attended, eager to learn and connect with panel members and listen to stories of successful business owners.

Groundbreaking Ceremony on February 13, 2024, for the First Street North mixed-use development project, providing 248 affordable housing units and 40,000 square feet of commercial space
On February 13, 2024, the Office of Mayor Karen Bass, Economic Workforce Development Department (EWDD), Little Tokyo Service Center, Go For Broke National Education Center, and the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) all participated in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the First Street North Project. This mixed-use development, located at

WSC operator SoCal Goodwill connected with job seekers at the City of Los Angeles Public Works Career Fair in January 2024
On January 25, 2024, the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works partnered with Councilmember Imelda Padilla to host a Career Fair in Van Nuys at the Airtel Plaza Hotel. Throughout the career fair, representatives from over 14 City of L.A. departments were available to

Michael at his Grid Alternatives Solar Panel Training program graduation
After his release from 14 years of incarceration, Michael didn’t have access to reentry information or the resources needed to secure a permanent job or maintain stable housing. However, with the assistance of LA:RISE and the Vernon Central WorkSource Center (WSC), he enrolled in job placement with

Edgar Rodriguez, founder and owner of ER Plumbing Solutions, fixing a plumbing emergency
In 2023, Edgar Rodriguez embarked on his journey of founding ER Plumbing Solutions after a decade of experience in the industry. His vision was simple- to redefine the standards of plumbing services by prioritizing communication and honest pricing. However, to realize this vision, Rodriquez required