Week of November 7, 2022

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Supporting LA innovators and startups 

EWDD administers and provides financial support to several incubator and accelerator programs in the City of Los Angeles through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). These programs contribute to the City's innovation landscape by supporting the creation and growth of startups.

This week we feature a start-up that received assistance from the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator (LACI), which is the City’s non-profit clean technology commercialization center. LACI is focused on helping promising, early-stage clean technology companies bring their products and services to market, thereby creating "green" jobs in the City and promoting an inclusive green economy. 


ChargerHelp! is a company dedicated to fixing broken charging stations and providing training to individuals from underserved communities to create a new workforce of Certified Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Technicians. 

Charger Help! co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Kameale Terry and co-founder and Chief Workforce Officer Evette Ellis participated in the  Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s (LACI) Founders Business Accelerator (FBA) which is funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). 

from (EWDD). The FBA program boosted the entrepreneurs’ confidence and momentum, earning ChargerHelp! a spot in LACI’s advanced two-year intensive business development program Incubation Cohort 1 in March 2020. 

Kameale and Evette were recently invited by President Joe Biden to the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act in September 2022. In support of national climate initiatives in the past two years, ChargerHelp! has grown from two founders to a team of approximately 30 key full-time personnel. In partnership with LACI’s Workforce Development programs, ChargerHelp! delivers training to a new era of green-collar technicians hired from the City of Los Angeles to perform EV charger maintenance. With the help of LACI’s team, Kameale & Evette were able to re-skill traditional gas & oil technicians to green jobs, and provide them with opportunities for  meaningful work that will support EV adoption. 

ChargerHelp! has grown to create their own nationally recognized workforce development program to re-skill adults displaced by changing energy markets or low economic conditions, into Certified EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) Technicians.

ChargerHelp! is located in LA City Council District 8.

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EWDD YouthSource Centers

EWDD’s 14 YouthSource Centers provide young Angelenos ages 14 to 24 years the support and resources they need to succeed in school and life. The centers are strategically located in the City’s underserved neighborhoods. Services and programs are offered in multiple languages.


Boyle Heights native Justin Rios participated in a virtual Hire LA's Youth internship at the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center (YSC). Justin said that the internship helped him discover his passion for computer science. It also gave him the confidence to successfully apply and participate in two prestigious opportunities: to conduct research on computational biology through USC’s Young Researchers Program, and participate in Carnegie Mellon’s program for Computer Science Scholars, one of the most competitive programs in computer science available to high school students.

“Attaining these two incredible opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without the knowledge and experience I had gained from completing the internship with the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center,” he said. 

Last year, Justin applied for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship, a program for first-generation, low-income students that allow them to attend renowned institutions at no cost. He was one of 79 students awarded a full four-year scholarship. Justin is now in his first semester at Columbia University in New York City. 

“I am beyond elated for Justin and his continued success,” said Sandy Umanzor, director of the Boyle Heights Tech YSC. “This goes to show that when we design programs and curricula around our youth with cultural competence, we are more likely to have a profound impact with them.” 

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Upcoming Job Fairs and Small Business Webinars

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If you have any questions, comments, or wish to have a contribution considered for inclusion in an upcoming "Updates," please feel free to contact Jamie Francisco at (213) 744-9048 or Jamie.Francisco@lacity.org