In Fall 2014, the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z) collaborative came together to develop an application for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s second Promise Zone competition. The Round 2 application built upon and cemented a partnership among diverse community organizations, education institutions, government agencies, and elected leaders that had never materialized in South LA. Though a designation was not received, SLATE-Z preserved and grew even stronger – expanding the roster of partners and focusing our goals, strategies, and activities. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro’s presence at one of our meetings hosted by our Congressional representatives Karen Bass and Lucille Roybal-Allard in August 2015 further solidified the collaborative’s resolve to pursue Promise Zone designation in the Third Round. From December 2015 to February 2016, SLATE-Z engaged in a planning process that resulted in the submission of a strengthened and refined Promise Zone proposal for Third Round of the competition. SLATE-Z is an historic and unprecedented partnership of over 50 public, private, and community-based organizations dedicated to moving residents to economic opportunity. The collaborative seeks to capitalize on opportunities brought by public transit and align and leverage the individual and collective assets of partners working in the area.
Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) – the oldest public two-year college in the Los Angeles Community College District – serves as the lead agency for SLATE-Z and houses backbone staff. Serving more than 23,000 students each year, LATTC is a recognized leader in workforce education. The college has also successfully managed well over $45 million in state, federal, and private foundation grants since 2007 to develop, implement, and evaluate a number of evidence-based programs and innovations. Since 2013, LATTC has been led by President Larry B. Frank. In his former role as a deputy mayor for the City of Los Angeles from 2005 to 2013, Frank oversaw community development, Public Works, the City’s entire workforce development programs, and the system of 98 neighborhood councils. President Frank’s strong sense of commitment to the community catapulted LATTC to significantly increased levels of visibility and leadership; he was approached by elected officials representing the community to lead SLATE-Z as the lead convener. LATTC is the perfect hub for SLATE-Z because the college’s mission aligns with broad-based collective impact strategies to address the needs of the local and regional economy, its focus on career technical education and career pathway development in LA’s highest projected growth industries, its long history of collaboration with workforce, and its historical and current role as convener and leader of collective impact work.
LATTC and LA’s Promise oversee the SLATE-Z Director, supported by a two-year grant from the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation, to provide forward momentum towards SLATE-Z’s mission by organizing partners and facilitating the design and execution of collective impact projects.