Los Angeles

Programs & Initiatives

The E-Contractor Academy is a seven-week program designed to prepare small and minority contractors to compete and perform energy efficiency retrofit projects for and within the County of Los Angeles and for billions of dollars of similar efficiency contracts throughout California. The County of Los Angeles is executing countywide energy efficiency projects valued at almost $1 billion. The County will award projects using a procurement strategy that promotes local, small contractor participation and an integrated workforce development strategy that stimulates the creation of local, highly skilled careers. To carry out these objectives, the County established a partnership with Emerald Cities Collaborative to implement the E-Contractor Academy sponsored by Citibank and a workforce development strategy rooted in a direct pipeline to union apprenticeship. 


The ACES (Architecture, Construction and Engineering Students) Pathway Program provides education and career pathways for economically disadvantaged youth. ACES improves educational achievement – and, importantly, removes barriers to higher education – by co-enrolling high school students in community college courses in the “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) fields. The credits they earn are transferrable to campuses within the California State University and University of California systems. In addition, ACES offers those students paid summer internships that pave the way for secure employment in well-paid careers by providing hands-on work experience alongside industry professionals. ACES not only addresses the gender gap in STEAM, it also removes financial barriers to higher education and job training by providing students with related necessities, from proper work gear to various training and enrollment fees.


The Apprenticeship Resource Guide is made available through the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) workforce development pilot program administered by the County of Los Angeles in partnership with the Emerald Cities Collaborative-Los Angeles. The Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council and the union apprenticeship directors/coordinators collaborated to make this guide a reliable and useful tool for those considering or seeking a career in construction. This Apprenticeship Resource Guide provides local workers with an introduction to union apprenticeship programs, eligibility requirements, enrollment, and wage information to make decisions about entry into a high-skill career in the construction trades.


Projects and financing have been identified for a $30M county-wide net-zero energy efficiency improvements of government facilities, including health clinics. The California Public Utilities Commission investments include labor and community standards, workforce training and small business development.


EC Los Angeles is partnering with the County of Los Angeles to pilot its Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) project in 2-3 cities within the 2nd Supervisorial District. Los Angeles County has reached out to Emerald Cities for workforce development & finance assistance. SoCalREN is a regional strategy to develop a energy efficiency financing and retrofit infrastructure to support 55 local government partners. 


Partnership are forming with the EPA’s E3 pilot program, the UCLA Sustainability, Technology & Policy Program to enhance a local green zone policy and development of green chemistry.


A foundation has been built for future projects with small manufacturers and energy providers, including the Green Urban Manufacturing Initiative (GUMI) who signed on and is interested in rebuilding the industrial base.


BCTD and the local building trades have developed a working partnership and conducted a training program for 40 lead trainers in the 13 L.A. YouthBuild  programs on the use of the multi-craft core curriculum . This was used as a way to begin to connect community-based construction training programs into the trade union apprenticeship training and career pathways.



Wendy Angel: Regional Director, Southern California

633 West 5th Street | Suite 3200 | Los Angeles, CA 90071

E wangel@emeraldcities.org | T 562 413-5608

Joseph Warner: Program Associate, Southern California

633 West 5th Street | Suite 3200 | Los Angeles, CA 90071

E jwarner@emeraldcities.org |

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