Yolanda Caraway, often described as a change catalyst, has over 30 years of experience with policy-making, public affairs, as well as with national and international political matters. Often sought after to coordinate major activities for the Democratic Party, as well as private organizations, her list of professional achievements showcases years of organizational ability and management expertise.

Yolanda and her team have played an instrumental role in helping companies navigate their way through turbulent times. One of the orgainziations they worked closely with was the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

We did an interview with Yolanda to learn more about this case, you can read it below.

In September 2001, LADWP formally created the Economic Development Group (EDG). This was a department with a sizable budget designed to help spur economic growth in Los Angeles through the implementation of programs to attract new businesses and encourage expansion and retention of small and medium sized businesses in the City. How did you support their efforts? 

“In October 2002, I was asked to complement EDG’s efforts by creating a quarterly speaker series to engage civic, business and government leaders in discussions about the impact of growth and development for minority and women small businesses.  In April 2003, the first speaker series workshop entitled, “Revving Up L.A.’s Economic Engine: An Opportunity to Talk with Your LADWP Partners,” was held at the FAME Renaissance Center in South Central Los Angeles. This event catered to African-American small business owners and brought together representatives from LADWP’s EDG and Supply Chain Management Group. Attendees were also given the opportunity to meet the directors of both the EDG and Supply Chain Management Group and to make appointments with them to walk through their business needs and help them identify those programs that would best meet their needs.

“From 2002-2005, we managed the execution of 10 speaker series events targeting African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and women small business owners. Each event included outreach to over 3,000 small businesses in the LADWP service territory and received an overwhelming response by the community.  During the 2001-2003 fiscal years, EDG funded nearly $10 million in new community redevelopment and beautification programs, $3 million in utility infrastructure loans, over $500,000 in community sponsorships, more than $1.5 million in training and outreach programs, $500,000 in the Smooth Power Program, and more than $2 million in business expansion and retention initiatives. 

“In the process, EDG collaborated with agencies at the city, county, state, and federal levels, including then-Mayor James K. Hahn’s office, the Los Angeles City Council offices, the Community Development Department, the Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, EDG spearheaded programs in the following areas: real estate support, permit fast-tracking, international trade, and affordable housing and commercial street lighting. These efforts resulted in the creation of hundreds of new jobs, thousands of dollars in tax revenue and an improved quality of life for Los Angeles residents. All of this supported the economic well-being of the people, and I am proud to say that we played a crucial role in making it happen.”

Thanks for sharing, Yolanda.

Read more from Yolanda H. Caraway.

The Signitt Network

Tags: Yolanda H. Caraway, Change Catalyst, Yolanda Caraway