learn / 2016

Connecting LA Tech Companies with Area STEM Organizations

Connecting LA Tech Companies with Area STEM Organizations

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Tech LA Cares

Tech LA Cares (TLC) aims to connect LA tech companies with volunteer opportunities at area STEM organizations in order to faciliate a more diverse future workforce for LA.


Please describe your project proposal.

LA-based STEM organizations are strapped for resources; area tech firms need any easy path to become more involved with their communities.

Tech LA Cares (TLC) aims to build a gateway for the two worlds to connect and create long-term relationships that foster a more diverse workforce that reflects LA’s culture, and to offer resources for both sides to more efficiently give and receive manpower, internships, mentorships, scholarships, monetary support, hardware, software, and more.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • College completion
  • College matriculation rates
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math
  • Early education
  • Student education pipeline
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Gateway Cities
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

TECH LA CARES aims to take what LA is already doing, and make it BETTER. LA is home to over 20 STEM-based organizations, and to hundreds of tech firms of all types and sizes.

Tech LA Cares would help facilitate connections between area STEM-based organizations with local tech companies via four distinct, interconnected initiatives:

PHASE ONE would be to work directly with the local STEM organizations to assess their needs: Are they looking for funding? Manpower? Mentors? Internships? Marketing help? Instructors? Hardware? Software? Project management tools?

Understanding how each organization is set up to ask for, and receive, such help will be crucial in building a program that serves their needs.

Phase One would also involve working with area tech firms to understand their capabilities. Do they have a dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility team? Do they have a framework for individuals or teams to seek opportunities to volunteer their expertise? How do you make volunteerism part of a company’s DNA without interrupting their pursuit of growth, no matter their size? How do you instill a sense of community service into a company’s existing mission and values?

PHASE TWO would involve building out a website to reflect all this – having a mechanism that catalogs organizations and their needs, that calendars one-off and regularly-recurring events for easy signup, that has profiles of organizations and companies, any resultant partnerships, and the fruits of their labors. The listing of local / statewide / national grant / award competitions and deadlines will also come into the fold over time.

PHASE THREE would be a springtime event to bring area tech firms and STEM organizations together in real life, to facilitate connection, to inspire action, and to give practical advice on how to run successful campaigns.

Roundtables, breakout sessions, and workbooks featuring each org’s story will help turn connections into actions long after the event ends.

PHASE FOUR would be to follow up with the businesses and the orgs to monitor progress, to help strengthen any ties made at the event, and to foster long-term relations between the two worlds.

All this is a lot of work for a third party to enable, but I truly believe that an organization such as Tech LA Cares can be the training wheels for success.

Tech firms and STEM organizations are overwhelmed with their current responsibilities, but by building an entity solely dedicated to facilitating such partnerships, it will strengthen us all – by creating opportunity for minority youth, for creating a smarter local workforce, and for creating a more DIVERSE workforce that truly reflects the international nature of LA’s population.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Metrics used to define and measure success include:

Boost in student enrollees year over over (YoY)

Boost in completion / graduation rates YoY

Boost in volunteer signups YoY

Number of area STEM-based organizations signed up

Number of area tech companies signed up

Number of employees pledged to volunteer at organizations

Number of hours served by volunteers

Amount of funds raised by each organization as a result of deeper ties with area companies

Number of hardware devices and software packages delivered to orgs

Number of white papers developed to help organizations improve their internal protocol

Number of white papers developed to help companies better connect with area orgs

Number of events listed on TLC events calendar

Number of volunteer queries based on web properties

Number of opportunities created as an effect of a direct connect between orgs and co’s

Online efforts will be measured digitally (Google Analytics, Squarespace, SumoMe, Mailchimp, etc.)

Real-world efforts will be measured via phone calls, emails, surveys, and conversations with companies and the STEM organizations

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Network/relationship support