By Katie Cortez / Staff Writer
The economic workforce development program is entrusted with “making sure that businesses are thriving” in the city of Long Beach, LBCC Executive Vice President Lou Anne Bynum said during a journalism press conference Monday, Sept. 30.
Leanora Aguayo, 20, an undecided major, said, “I was looking for a job all Summer and didn’t find anything. I had two interviews over the Summer, but was never contacted by anyone.”
In the last two months, LBCC has received $6.5 million in grants to help strengthen the school’s economic workforce development programs. The programs are designed to help young business owners and current workers alike “educate, train, and give students a better chance to get good-paying jobs,” Bynum said.
As of July 29, the College Advancement and Economic Development program has created 2,093 jobs and 259 business start-ups. One-third of the people involved in the Goldman Sachs program go on to own businesses in Long Beach. The City of Los Angeles has one of the largest numbers of venture capitalists in the country and “young people make up the majority of people who own their own businesses,” Bynum said. In this calendar year, Goldman Sachs has donated $3.2 million in grants, creating the largest hub in California. Money has been reallocated from grants to set up training and education programs needed to upgrade security at the airports and ports.
Two large grants from the Department of Labor and one from the Department of Commerce have helped fund a 9-unit Homeland Security program, designed to train current airport security workers in cyber-security and upgrading other security protocols.
Although the college has undergone severe budget cuts and fiscal trouble in the last few years, Bynum said, “This year, we do not have a structural deficit for the first time in four years.”
Bynum said, government continues to give grants to the college because LBCC has proven it can deliver the results the big businesses are looking for which helps push the city of Long Beach into a financially stable state.