L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success


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

Tomoko Morishita, owner of the Japanese-American restaurant Eigikutei (栄菊亭)
Like many other restaurants in the City of Los Angeles, Tomoko Morishita, owner of the Japanese-American restaurant Eigikutei (栄菊亭), faced a substantial decrease in revenue during the pandemic. Morishita turned to EWDD’s Hollywood BusinessSource Center (BSC) for assistance in obtaining access to capital to keep her

UCLA YouthSource Center participants pose on campus quad with center name overlaid in hollow letters
A balancing act between working and attending school is already difficult and can be impossible when facing housing insecurity. This was the situation that Ebony Mckinney found herself facing as she began aging out of the foster care system.

Mckinney learned about the

Watts YouthSource Youth Council members work with staffers from Council District 15 to make their December 2023 Winter Wonderland event a success for local families
On December 8, 2023, in partnership with Council District 15, students of the YO! Watts YouthSource Center (YSC) volunteered in the Watts community to make the annual Winter Wonderland event a success. Councilmember Tim McOsker’s Office asked the

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