Los Angeles Small Business Training Academy Celebrates First Graduating Class

Los Angeles Small Business Training Academy

Celebrates First Graduating Class

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the Los Angeles Department of Public Works celebrated the first graduating class of the Los Angeles Small Business Training Academy today, with a commencement breakfast and ceremony at LADWP headquarters’ John Ferraro Building. The event marks the completion of an extensive, 10-session training program focused on empowering and preparing women, minority and military veteran-owned firms to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

“LADWP and the Board of Public Works have delivered a stellar program that demonstrates a commitment to the value and contributions of small businesses,” said Bill Funderburk, Vice-President, LADWP Board of Commissioners. He added, “We applaud the achievements of the inaugural class and we will continue to build upon this initial success in nurturing, growing and strengthening the small business community in the City of Los Angeles.”

The Small Business Training Academy took place on Thursday evenings at the University of Southern California (USC), and was also supported by the USC Office of Civic Engagement and the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center located at USC. The Academy helped train representatives from 30 Los Angeles firms on how to grow a sustainable, competitive business and provided insight on bidding and working on construction projects in the greater Los Angeles area, including design-build and other project delivery methods for LADWP, Public Works and USC. 

“The dedication by the inaugural Academy class to understanding the contracting process and refining their marketing efforts will not only provide them with increased business opportunities,  but will undoubtedly enhance competition, netting infinite benefits to our city and residents,” said Monica Rodriguez, Vice President, Board of Public Works. “This unprecedented collaboration between LADWP and the Department of Public Works reflects a significant shift in tide in the area of small business inclusion and we will continue to refine our process, just as the graduates have advanced their competitive edge,” she added.

Small businesses represented included firms in the science and engineering, security, painting, architecture, construction and testing and inspection fields.  Session topics covered different aspects of business and project management, including procurement, business and marketing essentials, bonding and risk management, bid proposals, safety and environmental issues.  Opportunities available to the firms include LADWP’s Solar Incentive, Solar Feed-in-Tariff programs and other street improvement and wastewater treatment plant initiatives.

“LADWP and its partners know that small businesses play a critical role in the future of our dynamic economy and it is important to include them in the opportunities available for goods and services contracts that support City infrastructure,” said Gwendolyn W. Williams, Director of Supply Chain Services for LADWP.

Marcie Edwards, LADWP General Manager said, “We are pleased to join our partners in infrastructure, the Department of Public Works, to help promote economic development and support our local and small businesses in Los Angeles. Congratulations to the participants, and we look forward to hosting the next Small Business Academy class in fall 2015.” 

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Media Contacts:

LADWP: Michelle Figueroa (213) 367-1361

Public Works: Richard Lee (213) 978-0333