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UCLA Magazine Summer 2004
Of God and Blue-Footed Boobies
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Summer 2004
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.

S.C.

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