2015 Grants Challenge

SoundWorks L.A.

We are proposing SoundWorks L.A., a workforce development program that will train youth for positions in sound and lighting. In addition to helping youth land positions throughout the city, the program will have a social enterprise component in which youth will play a role in building the plan and launching the business. Students will earn certifications and have the opportunity to further their studies through our strategic partners in higher learning.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South LA

City of Los Angeles

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Advocate for job placement opportunities

How will your proposal improve the following LEARN metrics?​

Percent of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

College matriculation rates

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to LEARN.

Although gleaming with celebrities and wealth, Los Angeles has also gained fame for its high level of poverty. Along with poverty comes an increase in homelessness, dropout rates, unemployment, drugs, gang activity, crime and overall feeling of hopelessness. Where there is education, these factors are greatly lessened.

In working closely with youth through arts, we receive many inquiries about careers in sound and lighting for events. This is where the SoundWorks L.A. will step in.

SoundWorks L.A. is geared to provide thorough training, workforce development and job placement for young people who traditionally have not had access to opportunity. Our goal is to provide pathways to jobs, increase the graduation rate among youth and encourage higher learning. In doing so, we will play a role in: 1) minimizing unemployment among young people; 2) encouraging youth to stay in high school and pursue higher education; 3) providing mentors and guidance to support student success; and 4) create a social enterprise model in an effort to bolster the local economy and access to viable and sustainable jobs and careers. Students will work on the latest equipment, gain a full overview of the industry, participate in workshops with industry professionals and build their personal career plan, taking ownership in their future. Upon completion of their coursework, students will receive a certificate. In aligning with the curricular objectives of college level institutions, our students will be ready to pursue higher learning and an increased variety of professional options. Along the way, students will participate in hands-on experiential learning. We will additionally create strategic partnerships, scholarships and academic counseling services to provide further guidance to our students. Our objective through this project is to encourage equity, instill pride and improve quality for life for all Angelenos.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

In order to evaluate our work, we will first conduct an intake survey of our students. We will create SMART goals to support this effort (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). While we are in process, we will create indicator markers for our students in being able to take on assigned tasks, create checklists and be able to articulate their knowledge.

We will evaluate our work on a community level by providing services for local festivals and events and conducting debriefs to identify what worked, what didn’t work and any room for improvement. We will also engage community leaders, stakeholders and clients to help us identify our success and any gaps.

We will look at agencies conducting similar work as well as businesses that offer similar services. We will also look for methods in which we could increase efficiency both in our programming and business model. We will conduct many of these evaluations every 6-12 months.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research