2022 Grants Challenge

ReIgnite Hope No One Jobless

ReIGNITE seeks to address income inequality by expanding our operations in BIPOC, bilingual, homeless, and other disadvantaged LA communities. We've already taught and certified 1000+ welders with a 100% graduation rate and a 70% job placement rate upon graduation as welders are in high demand. Our brick-and-mortar facility is in Gardena, CA, next to Compton. Our new mobile unit is an outfitted 18-wheeler trailer that goes into other disadvantaged neighborhoods. Each of these facilities and every new mobile unit trains up to 250 people a year.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Income Inequality

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

South LA

West LA

South Bay

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

ReIGNITE Hope addresses many of the LA2050 community goals for Los Angeles, primarily income inequality. Income inequality and homelessness are tragically common among BIPOC / bilingual minorities, drug addicts, the generational poor, former gang members, ex-offenders, veterans, women, single parents, graduating teens struggling with traditional learning styles, and persons who cannot afford to attend community colleges, adult schools, or trade schools. These are our students. The high cost of housing, transportation, child care, food, and necessities coupled with the limitations of traditional schooling, adult schools, community colleges, and the restricted number of trade schools where many disadvantaged people live have kept them in a cycle of unending poverty or homelessness. The myriad of these challenges tragically erodes dignity and hope, creating and perpetuating the cycles of despair, poverty, and homelessness. This should not be. Proven, innovative solutions are needed.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

ReIGNITE Hope offers a unique approach to the complex challenges for many of the LA2050 community goals, primarily income inequality. Our program offers hope and a hand-up with a creative, proven, repeatable, and long-term solution. We began training the homeless on Skid Row in 2011. Over the past 10+ years, we've helped 1,000+ students graduate with in-demand welding certifications from the American Welding Society, who estimates a 400,000 deficit of welders by 2024. We have a 100% graduation rate and a 70% job placement rate. We teach underserved persons to become certified welders and reliable employees. Beyond welding, we train students how to be successful at work and home by teaching other valuable work and life skills including: work ethics, resume writing, interview training, teachability, punctuality, financial responsibility and more. We also assist with job placement. Thus our graduates walk out transformed and the majority begin a lifelong career, inspiring their families and communities. Our graduates command a high-paying, reliable income for living expenses and to thrive in life. Our students are mainly BIPOC minorities (~70% Black / Hispanic) and ~10% women as well as former gang members, ex-offenders, single parents, 18+ teens, homeless, or veterans. We seek to reach more LA communities with our existing mobile training unit, hire Spanish-more speaking instructors, build more mobile units, and expand our Gardena facility by adding more welding stations.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

ReIGNITE Hope seeks to add 6 new 10-week part-time (2x/wk) welding training classes around LA with the $75,000 grant. We have 500+ people on our waitlist. In the next 3-5 years, we plan to build 10 new mobile welding training units to reach 20+ new LA communities. We've directly impacted 1,000+ graduates' lives, offering them jobs and hope. We have indirectly impacted 5+ people in their families and 5+ people in their community, influencing 10,000+ lives. Our existing Gardena facility and our existing mobile unit directly impact up to 250 students a year at each location, indirectly influencing 2,500+ lives every year in LA county for each facility or 5,000+ for both. Every new mobile unit can graduate up to 250 students and touch 2,500+ more lives. For 10 new mobile units, that's up to 2,500 graduates and 25,000+ lives. For the 6 new classes that would be covered by the grant, with up to 25 students each, that's 150 graduates who then can indirectly influence 1,500+ lives.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

ReIGNITE Hope is a faith-based, non-profit that offers life-changing career skills and trains people to become certified welders at no cost to them. We are reigniting hope in the world, one life at a time. The work ReIGNITE Hope has already done over the past 10+ years is proof that LA County is being transformed. We want to expand our operations, build and operate more 18-wheeler mobile training units to help impact BIPOC minorities, homeless, and disadvantaged persons become self-supporting members of their families and communities. We are already expanding and want LA2050 to partner with us to have more classes in more communities, especially in homeless pallet shelter villages and in underserved LA neighborhoods. We've already graduated 100% of our 1,000+ students and 70% of our students who leave transformed and enter high-paying, in-demand jobs as certified welders. The remaining 30% are also transformed with life-changing skills to be a success at home, work, or school.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 1,500