The mission of Impact SoCal is to engage entrepreneurs and other business owners to expand their capacity and create employment opportunities that transform communities and lives.
Impact Southern California is an organization built with community in mind. Our focus is to engage business owners to expand their capacity and ability to impact the market place. Simultaneously, we work to identify potential employees and train them according to the needs of the business owner. This shift in community engagement creates a high level of collaboration and self-reliance. It is our ultimate goal that these new employees see themselves as future business owners and as part this community’s transformation.
California is often referred to as the golden state. The moniker is not just a reference to the sunshine, but the broad range of opportunities in this state. After extensive research, we found that while many find success in the areas of agriculture, technology, and entertainment to name a few, the vast majority of experiences in California has not been considered golden. Vermont Knolls is one such community that can be characterized as having increased poverty, crime, and poor academic achievement with an anemic opportunity for economic development. It has been referred to as “Death Alley” by law enforcement officials, a term associated with the high number of homicides compared to other areas of Los Angeles County. Many of the people here are exposed to gang violence, substance abuse, and mental health challenges, in addition to the absence of a living wage. Simply put, people are in survivor mode.
Workforce development centers throughout Los Angeles County, including areas such as South Los Angeles, Watts, Compton and North Long Beach, have attempted to remedy this problem by helping residents to find jobs. For some, there has been success, but for the vast majority, there has been disappointment. Not only does the need exceed the available jobs, but structural unemployment plays a prominent role. In 2013, the City of Los Angeles commissioned the Watts Studio Project to complete a community assessment. In making suggestions for residents of Watts, it was determined that over the next several years, government agencies and non-profit service providers should train for the fields projected to experience the greatest growth and job opportunities in the county.
These target occupations include:
Personal care aides/home health aides
Market Research Analysts/Marketing Specialist
Food Service Managers
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs
EMT’s and Paramedics
In comparison to other growing trends, these occupations have limited impact on the communities that minorities in “high needs” or 100% Low to Moderate Income (LMI) serve.
We can no longer afford to train people for jobs that don’t materialize. Nor can we afford to send people to jobs without the requisite skills to retain the job. This high need is the heartbeat that vitalizes Impact Southern California Community Development Corporation (Impact SoCal).