Of the Community, By the Community,
For the Community
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The goals of the partnership are twofold: to strengthen
and enhance the foundation of the district's business owners by
providing them with much-needed training, and to create two resource
Web sites for manufacturers affiliated with the Toy Association
of Southern California and the Food Industry Business Roundtable.
Linda Wong, CDTech's business and workforce-development director,
has already seen the results of CDTech's computer courses. "Most
of the merchants are first-generation immigrants to the United States
who have little education beyond eighth grade," Wong says.
"For many of them, the training available through CDTech is
their first experience of any kind with computers. It was an enormous
achievement to do what one recent CDTech student did — to
produce a marketing flyer to advertise her women's clothing store."
Erika Villablanca, a master's candidate in urban planning in the
policy school, spearheads the second component of the project, development
of industry Web sites. In order to create the sites, Villablanca
first had to learn about the users' needs.
"I surveyed the users and then researched what other sites
were available to them," says Villablanca. "I wanted to
determine what would give them the greatest benefits." From
her research, Villablanca produced a report that will serve as the
basis for developing the new sites.
Between the two projects, the partners hope to make a significant
difference in the economic future of the Vernon-Central district,
an important locale in the history of Los Angeles and one that has
great potential to figure prominently in the city's future.