EWDD Stories of Inspiration and Success

Jose Luis Gutierrez, owner of Image Limousine
The West Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Jose Luis Gutierrez, owner of Image Limousine, successfully obtain grants and loans to keep his business afloat during COVID-19.

Jose held different jobs until he felt comfortable enough to start his own business. In 2006, Jose took the leap and launched his own company.

Skylar successfully completed Class A Transport Training through the L.A. Rise Program
EWDD is a leadership team partner of the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE). This innovative, collaborative partnership unites the City and County of Los Angeles' Workforce Development System (WDS) with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help individuals with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed.

After serving 12 years in prison, Skylar,

Ms. Parra, a LARCA 2.0 Program participant
EWDD administers the jobs and education program for the City's Gang Injunction Curfew Settlement, also known as the Los Angeles Reconnections Career Academy (LARCA) 2.0. The program provides benefits to settlement members, including free job training, tuition assistance and tattoo removal. The benefits can also be transferred to immediate family members.

Ms. Parra enrolled in the LARCA 2.0 Program in 2020. She struggled with

LA:RISE participant Michelle in her permanent position as a Call Center Coordinator and Case Manager at the Center for Living and Learning
EWDD is a leadership team partner of the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE). This innovative, collaborative partnership unites the City and County of Los Angeles' Workforce Development System (WDS) with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help individuals with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed. LA:RISE participant Michelle shares her inspirational story about overcoming addiction and getting her life on a stable path.

“For five years, I struggled with addiction. I believe I was lost for a really long time. I often

Dr. Nana Afoh-Manin created Shared Harvest, a non-profit that provides individuals opportunities to ease the financial burden of student loan debts
With guidance from the Los Angeles Cleanteach Incubator (LACI) Founders Business Accelerator program, Dr. Nana Afoh-Manin established Shared Harvest, a non-profit that provides individuals opportunities to ease the financial burden of student loan debts.

Dr. Nana was part of the first cohort of the program and she credits it with helping her navigate resources, connecting her with a strong and supportive entrepreneurial network, and exposing her to a

Lakenya Spikes received a subsidized job opportunity funded through the National Dislocated Worker Grant which helped her onto a stable career path
The National Dislocated Worker Grant provided funding for temporary employment to individuals who lost their jobs during COVID-19. The Watts WorkSource Center connected Imperial Courts resident Lakenya Spikes with a subsidized job opportunity at the Watts Empowerment Center while developing her talents with the help of business professionals.

The Watts Empowerment Center is