Jan Perry was confirmed Dec. 17 as the permanent general manager of the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) by a unanimous vote of the Los Angeles City Council.
Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed her to the job on an interim basis last July, and later permanent. The vote by the City Council concurred with the mayor’s appointment.
The department has a focus on economic stimulus, which in turn will create jobs. Perry directs a staff of approximately 175 individuals that includes an economic development unit charged with brokering city loans and bonds. On the workforce side, the department oversees 18 WorkSource Centers that offer specialized training, resume development, a job bank and a number of career development services.
Currently the department is considering Requests for Proposals from contractors interested in running the WorkSource Centers. Contractors focus on training programs in growth industries, including health care, advanced manufacturing (i.e., biotech, high-tech manufacturing), logistics, hospitality, construction, entertainment and fashion. This sector-driven focus will equip jobless individuals with the skills needed to get and keep a job.
“The mayor and council agree that everything we do in this department will be tied back to job creation, getting L.A. working,” said Perry.
Perry has a wealth of experience in economic development. During the 12 years she served as a City Council member, representing Downtown, Little Tokyo and South Los Angeles, she brokered major development projects in her district, including LA Live, the iconic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and public buildings like the new Police Administrative Building.
During her third and last term, she unsuccessfully ran for mayor, then endorsed Garcetti in the runoff.
The EWDD, created last July, will take over some of the functions of the disbanded Community Redevelopment Agency as some of the former CRA properties are transferred to the city as well as portions of tax increments.
For more information on the Economic and Workforce Development Department, visit http://ewdd.lacity.org.