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

Empowering Black Women Through Project Management

L&F Project Management is a social enterprise that uses an innovative approach to close access and income gaps that inequitably affect Black women. Our workforce development programs aim to elevate an untapped talent pool into the field of project management through practical experience, mentorship, and life skill development as participants earn their Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Certification. The LA2050 Grant will be used to expand the programs, thus ensuring that more Black women can build careers in this growing field.


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

Income Inequality

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

County 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?

Income inequality has been a persistent issue in the U.S., and it disproportionately affects BIPOC women. For every dollar earned by white men in 2022, Black women earned $0.66. These disparities have enduring impacts on quality of life, including difficulty achieving and maintaining economic security for themselves and their families. The issue has been further intensified by women's overrepresentation in undervalued and lower paying occupations. Research has started to illuminate the compounding factors and structural oppression that drive these disparities. However, less attention has been given to specific ways that women have been excluded from upward mobility in professional settings, such as the lack of access to professional training, life skills development, and mentoring. Even when these opportunities exist, Black women are not typically in positions to take advantage of them, thus limiting their chances to earn fair wages and compete on level ground with their counterparts.

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

L&F Project Management aims to build pathways of upward economic mobility for Black women by equipping them with the foundational skills to pursue successful careers in project management. Our Internship is a 10-week program available to students currently enrolled in a two- or four-year college program. The firm intentionally leverages partnerships with LACCD and community-based organizations to reach women in underserved communities when recruiting for this program. In addition to completing coursework to earn their Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Certification, the students will also engage in workshops to develop life skills, including learning to manage their mental health and wellbeing. CAPM-certified Project Managers earn around 25% more than non-certified professionals, with an average annual salary of $101,000. Throughout the course of the program, the students work alongside the firm's project managers on contracted projects with government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Those who successfully complete the internship are offered the opportunity to join the firm's Associate Program.This program is designed to support firm projects and provide students with professional experience and transferable skills as they work on earning their Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification. This program is built on a task-based on-demand model that promotes self-management and allows students to earn income while attending college.

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

Our vision for success is rooted in our belief that through each woman served, a career is started, a family is impacted and a whole community benefits from this upward mobility. With the foundations of the workforce development programs in place, by 2025, our goal is to scale to support 50 young Black women in obtaining their CAPM and/or PMP certifications. Assuming a family of 4, up to 200 family members can be impacted by these Black women and the skills and opportunities they gain from our programs. L&F is looking forward to expanding our clientele to serve non-profits, social enterprises, and sustainable companies in LA County. We also envision expanding our programs so that we will be able to work with high school students from underserved communities across LA County. This would entail introducing them to project management and equipping them with resources to start taking early steps to prepare for entry into higher education and eventual certification in project management.

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

The impact of our two programs will be measured by the number of applicants, the number of certifications that participants earn, and the portion of interns who matriculate into the Associate Programs. Upon completing the programs, we stay connected to all participants and document their educational progress and job placement, which helps us to understand the types of skills the students developed through our program and how they transfer to full-time positions. Because the program is still in its earliest phase, the data we have collected is reflective of only the first cohort. This cohort was composed of 5 interns, selected from 12 applications; 1 earned their CAPM Certification; 4 continued on to the associate program; 4 completed associate degrees and 1 completed their Bachelor's. With more time and the expansion of the programs, we will be able to fully report on our impact and identify areas of growth for the firm so that we can continuously improve the way we support students.

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

Direct Impact: 25

Indirect Impact: 100