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New LA Initiative Looks to Boost Local Manufacturing, Fashion Included

Fashion is a component of the new LA Made 4.0 initiative announced this week by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, looking to boost manufacturing in a variety of sectors in America’s second-largest city.

A partnership between the City of Los Angeles, Goodwill Southern California, the UCLA-based Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, LA Made 4.0 is meant to prepare the city’s workforce for new technologies and provide middle-class career opportunities to city dwellers interested in manufacturing.

“Los Angeles is a manufacturing capital, a place where dreamers from around the world come to build tomorrow’s innovations today,” Garcetti said. “Manufacturing jobs are the bedrock of our economy, and LA Made 4.0 will give more Angelenos the tools and training they need to secure middle class careers in smart manufacturing.”

LA Made 4.0 is the latest initiative led by Garcetti to push growth in Los Angeles’ manufacturing industry. It goes beyond recent programs for the aerospace and defense sectors to reach other core manufacturing sectors in Los Angeles, including fashion industries, food and beverage, and biotechnology, city hall said.

The effort plans to retrain 3,000 manufacturing workers by 2022, providing them with the skills to secure smart manufacturing jobs. In addition, the partnership will place 400 workers in pre-apprenticeships for entry-level manufacturing jobs and another 100 people will be placed in apprenticeships by 2022.

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CESMII, a $140 million public-private partnership focused on advancing smart manufacturing, will support workforce training programs to address critical skills and ensure LA Made 4.0 trainees are ready to work with the technologies that are transforming manufacturing. Workers going through these programs will have access to a state-of-the-art production space being developed by CESMII at UCLA.

Goodwill Southern California will provide training services through the Strong Workforce Apprenticeship Group that has simplified the process for manufacturers to participate in apprenticeship programs.

“The Los Angeles Metro Area is home to over 11,000 manufacturers, most of which are family-owned and employ fewer than 60 workers,” Patrick McClenahan, CEO of Goodwill Southern California, said. “These small firms don’t have the resources or time to adapt to ever evolving technologies on their own. Programs like this ensure that these manufacturers can continue to operate for generations.”

The USC Center for Advanced Manufacturing will provide LA Made 4.0 with access to advanced robotics, 3D printing, and augmented and virtual reality systems to create programming targeted at high school and middle school students in an effort to provide them with the resources required to succeed in advanced manufacturing jobs.

In the fashion sector, the ongoing LA Original pilot program of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, provides a platform to showcase diverse makers and promote locally designed, assembled or manufactured goods. LA Original branding also provides the business community with the opportunity to define their brands as “from Los Angeles,” offering market value for local companies.