Pictured above, left to right: Bill Allen, LAEDC CEO; Jodi Lesh, Kaiser Permanente and LAEDC Chair; Halé Behzadi, Citibank; Marianne Haver Hill, Propel L.A. Executive Director; James Alva, Citibank; Kush Malhotra, Citi Private Bank.
PROPEL L.A. Selected by Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Fund to Accelerate Economic Opportunity in Los Angeles County
$500,000 investment in core operating support will enable Propel L.A. to recruit and train workers for growth-oriented careers in the underserved areas of the region.
LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2018 – The Citi Foundation announced that Propel L.A., supported by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), was selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in our communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses, and municipal agencies. Propel L.A. joins a group of 40 change agents who are playing a key role in coordinating the efforts of multiple partners toward common goals and working in new ways to address urban challenges in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C.
LA County has one of the highest geographic concentrations of aerospace and advanced transportation jobs in the nation; and yet, for too many of our residents, especially those from low-income communities, these jobs are out of reach because they lack information about and access to relevant free or low-cost training in these growing, but fast-changing, fields. Through the fund, Propel L.A. will develop a two-year program and partner with nonprofits to proactively seek out under-employed and dislocated workers in Pacoima/Northeast San Fernando Valley as well as Inglewood/Lennox, and recruit them for the Advanced Manufacturing Training Academies offered at LA Valley College and El Camino College. Soft skills training will be provided as well. This program, as funded by the Citi Foundation Community Progress Makers grant, will serve as a model for what could be replicated throughout the County.
“We launched this program in 2015 as our version of ‘venture philanthropy’ – a chance to invest in the vision and mission of these organizations who are helping positively transform their communities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We’re pleased with the results from our inaugural Community Progress Makers and are looking forward to implementing the lessons we’ve learned with this next, impressive group of community leaders as they scale, innovate and drive impact.”
LAEDC launched Propel L.A. to support the implementation of the Countywide Strategic Plan for Economic Development. Fundamentally, the Plan addresses growing income inequality in the region and includes strategies designed to narrow the gap between rich and poor. The Strategic Plan outlines seven goals to improve quality of life countywide through education, job creation, and building livable communities. Goal 1, Invest in Our People, and Goal 2, Strengthen Local Export-Oriented Industry Clusters, are the foundation of the work funded by the Progress Makers grant.
“We are very concerned about those residents of our community who are in the bottom quintile of annual income, and we are developing strategies to promote opportunities for these individuals to advance themselves toward livable wages and family-sustaining jobs”, said Marianne Haver Hill, Propel L.A. Executive Director. “Too often those struggling in poverty are ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to learning about free or affordable, short-term training programs that can provide entry to a meaningful career pathway with wage growth potential.”
In 2016-2017, the inaugural cohort of Community Progress Makers helped more than 14,700 low-income people secure financial assets; built over 10,500 affordable housing units; strengthened more than 1,100 small businesses; and connected 1,800 young people to jobs in their communities.
Other recipients of the 2018 Community Progress Makers grant include United Way of Greater Los Angeles, LISC Los Angeles, and Homeboy Industries – as well as other organizations nationwide.
About Propel L.A.
Powered by LAEDC, Propel L.A. is the initiative to implement the 2016-2020 Countywide Strategic Plan for Economic Development, serving as the connector between LAEDC’s vast network of resources and economic development knowledge base, and the region’s community stakeholders. Propel L.A. works to create opportunities that change people’s lives, by empowering stakeholders to achieve 7 Goals that promote education and workforce development, job creation and livable communities. These efforts capture and activate the individual and collective voices of LA County toward the one purpose of advancing opportunity and prosperity for all. www.propel.la
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.