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

the Malibu Pacific Trail before restoration, showing a deep erosion trench
The California Employment Development Department National Dislocated Workers Grant (NDWG) provided paid work experience for workers to assist with recovery efforts to residents and businesses that were severely impacted by the state’s megafires.

Some NDWG grant recipients served on crews responsible for restoring local landscapes destroyed by the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which

Armando Miranda, owner of Angels of Hope Med Trans, beside his non-emergency medical transport van
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped entrepreneur Armando Miranda successfully obtain loans and grants that helped his company, Angels of Hope Med Trans, stay open during COVID-19. Armando had more than seven years of experience in the non-emergency medical transportation field when he was inspired to open his own business after receiving positive feedback from customers who specifically requested him as their driver.

In 2019, Armando began working closely with the North Valley BusinessSource Center on

Angella Cole, owner of Angella's Sweet Spot, with a tray of baked treats
The Mid-City BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped pastry chef Angella Cole successfully obtain a microloan to expand her business, Angella's Sweet Spot.

In May 2021, Angella reached out to the BSC, operated by EWDD contractor PACE, to seek strategies and guidance to grow her company. Angella met with PACE Business Counselor Supranee May to discuss her business plan and