Blog

WCA in Action: Creating career opportunities in LA

We’re back and we wanted to take a minute to catch you up on our work over the last four months!

With the holidays right around the corner, we wanted to reflect on the past year and thank you for joining with Working Californians in doing well by doing good. It’s also a time when we are looking forward to the needs of our neighbors and communities, and asking ourselves what we can do to improve them.

Working Californians was created to improve the lives of our neighbors who have been struggling to get work and make ends meet. We are striving to rebuild the economy by rebuilding the middle class. We’re doing this by developing public and private programs that have positive social impact and forging collaborations with industry leaders, community organizations, environmental groups and labor organizations.

In October, WCA partnered with IBEW Local 18 and BHCP Live! to host a Union Jobs Expo and Celebration at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw. With over 20 community organizations present we were also joined by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, and Congresswoman Karen Bass as we celebrated the graduation of over 100 trainees of the IBEW Local 18 & Utility Pre-Craft Training Program. The celebration also featured a concert with the musical talents Masta and the Edge of Soul and the Michael Ward band while community organizations and local unions such as the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16 and Local 709, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, IBEW Locals 11 and 18, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277 provided information about job training programs. Click here to check out photos from the event on our Facebook page.

This past Labor Day we also hosted our third annual Nightshift concert where we celebrated workers and their unions by honoring the history and future of Labor Day here in Los Angeles. The concert featured Grammy nominated artists Eric Benet and Sheila E as well as the Grammy award winning Irvin Mayfield and celebrated the labor victories made this past year and toasted the future of labor in Los Angeles over the coming years. Click here to see photos from the event on Facebook.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on our exciting future ventures. Please keep checking back in to get the latest Working Californians news, updates and event information.

Thank you once again joining us as we continue with a shared commitment in doing well by doing good.

Happy Holidays,
-WCA

Can Do Attitude

 

Social innovation comes in many different shapes and sizes. In São Paulo, a mobile recycling center turns discarded soda cans into designer stools thanks to designer duo Alex Groves and Azusa Murakam, who haul around a mobile cart that melts cans using vegetable oil waste collected from local cafes. The team then pours the molten aluminum into molds to make stools that are given to locals as payment for providing materials.

The project, called Can City, relies on recycling to reclaim materials and provide income to waste collectors. Check out the inspiring video below for a look at how Can City is taking eco and social innovation to the streets of São Paulo.

Read the full story here.

Image via Studio Swine

Big Ideas for Small Business

The heart of America’s economic success has always been innovation and the growth of small businesses. Today, the majority of net jobs created in the country can be attributed to companies that are five years old or younger.

The Economist explored this trend, only to find that the America’s start-ups no longer thrive and create jobs the way they did about a decade ago. Despite the blame placed on the financial crisis, there are other factors at play, like shortage of skilled workers and the cost of taxes and regulations. A third issue is the challenge of acquiring funding, both private and public, to sponsor the continued development of new business ventures.

All of these factors combined are greatly stunting economic recovery and job growth in America. That’s why we need to advocate for policies that benefit small-businesses and programs that train the next wave of skilled laborers. With nearly 22 million workers either unemployed or underemployed, it’s time to get America’s engines of growth firing on all cylinders.

Click here for the full article.  


Photo by Marco Verch

Innovation for the Long Term

When it comes to growing the economy, the US depends on innovation to create jobs and drive the market. According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, innovation in America has become stagnant as corporations focus on immediate returns rather than devoting time and money on projects with a lasting impact.

Christensen makes the argument that innovation should take into consideration future development, such as sustaining new research and creating jobs. We agree.

To read more of Clayton Christensen’s thoughts on innovation, read the full piece at Inc. here: http://bit.ly/19o3bCD

3 Pillars of Innovation

The innovation economy—fueled by ever changing institutions, technology and entrepreneurs—sits at the center of economic growth. There are three key pillars to sustain this innovation economy according to Faisal Hoque, CEO at BTM Corporation.

Hoque says the following concepts are necessary for innovators and businesses to validate innovation and reach their full potential. Whether you are starting your own business or working for an established one, rethinking your approach to innovation could have a big, and lasting impact.

Below are Faisal Hoque’s Top 3 Pillars for Social Innovation:

1. A Leader’s Emotional Intelligence

According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, 85% of financial success is credited to skills in “human engineering,” such as personality and one’s ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Successful communicating leads to successful innovation.

2. Cultivating A Cross-Collaborative Culture

Leaders with forethought can organize analytical and creative talent in a way that is collaborative and cross-functional, and forms teams to capitalize on these interactions.

3. Establishing Repeatable Processes
Sustained innovation can be ensured through organization and creating a set of processes to identify growth opportunities and enhance future options.

Click here for the full article. 


Photo via Mark Notari

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