LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Conservation Corps Youth Enterprise

San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps will utilize the $75,000 LA 2050 grant funds to support youth economic advancement through paid training and employment. Our youth work improves park access, trail health, habitat restoration and tends urban farms in San Gabriel Valley. Our youth-driven social enterprise project will expand our work providing paid employment and training for underserved and marginalized youth, particularly system-involved youth. We have several social enterprise efforts currently including an urban farm of 6 acres.


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

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation)

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

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

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?

Our work to expand opportunities for youth, employment and training requires that we move beyond traditional sources of income, and develop our conservation and urban farming projects into social enterprises. Our goal is to increase gross earned income in each project by 25% each year. This will require a greater outreach and marketing effort by our staff and marketing consultants. The outcome is greater financial independence, jobs and revenue enhancing our agency sustainability. Our agency has dedicated programs serving youth who are system-involved, formerly incarcerated or parolees. . Training and preparation for certificates from OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour training, machinery and equipment including hi-lo, bobcat and skidder certifications. We look forward to growing in many ways. We expect to expand the urban farm and its produce. Farm market stands and community supported agriculture also creates exciting roles for the youth in training and employment.

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

Our program manager and marketing consultant will refine and update SGVCC Social Enterprise Plan. LA Challenge funding will allow us to hire marketing talent to train and mentor our staff over 12 months. Our initial focus will be developing a customer database, utilizing simple CRM software. Potential customers include public entities, local corporations, and some high net worth individuals. The leads that are generated will be contacted in a patient marketing process that seeks to roll out additional services to customers smoothly. Another element of our project is working on specific business certifications that can assist the agency in acquiring contracts. Minority Business Enterprise, Women Business Enterprise, SBA SAM Registration, SBA Section 8A Certification as well as local certifications, will help us access contracts and customers most effectively and competitively. This is not a simple process, but one that can lead to significant contracting and sales opportunities including procurement relationships. Our marketing efforts will also leverage our unique story... how your project can help provide jobs and opportunity to those often excluded: Latinx youth from economically marginalized communities like east LA County and many surrounding communities. We anticipate growing our capabilities and capacity as a staff and helping to grow the first cohort of social entrepreneurs in contracts and employment areas we already have relationships and procurement relationships.

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

. The impact on Los Angeles County our work creates is multifaceted. Our modality is the natural environment and our youth are engaged in a wide variety of conservation work. Our work also helps improve the overall resiliency of the area and surrounding communities. Brush, deadwood, and tree trimming mitigate the risk of wildfire. This is a powerful combination of youth development and climate disaster intervention. The opportunities for teaching and overall environmental awareness have led our organization to intensify and deepen our work on food sovereignty. A 6-acre urban farm is one example of this effort that we seek to expand. We are also preparing youth for work in food sovereignty, not only urban farms, but operational, farmers markets and community supported agriculture shares to east Los Angeles County communities. . We work on contracts with public entities and private firms to restore habitat, install green infrastructure, and community produce sales.

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

Our work on Social Enterprise is beyond the pilot stage and requires an investment in marketing and program development. The agency assesses the impact of our work through program data, surveys, focus group and interviews conducted with staff, volunteers, program participants, parents, and community stakeholders. An evaluation report is prepared for review and to inform changes. The expansion of our Social Enterprise efforts will allow us to invest additional resources in analyzing our work the with development of a Social Enterprise Plan for SGVCC with projected outputs and outcomes; effectiveness of the social enterprise training and mentoring as evidenced by staff learning achievement; effectiveness of marketing strategies in acquiring new business contacts and contracts; the growth in job creation, and growth in gross revenues. As part of the program budget, a part-time, independent consultant will be hired to conduct the evaluation and prepare a report on the findings or impact.

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

Direct Impact: 25

Indirect Impact: 400