small business acadamy, bpw, public works, small biz

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 18, 2019)— On November 15, 2019, the City of Los Angeles held a commencement ceremony to celebrate the culmination of the 2019 LA Small Business Academy. Made possible through a collaborative effort by the Department of Public Works, Department of Water and Power, the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports, the 7-week program is designed to provide guidance to small business owners interested in doing business and contracting with the City of Los Angeles. 

“The LA Small Business Academy is one of the many City initiatives intended to create an equal playing field for small businesses,” said Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Mike Davis. “It’s an honor to work alongside our partners at the Department of Water and Power, the Port of LA and Los Angeles World Airports to encourage and empower the hardworking entrepreneurs who have completed the program,” Commissioner Davis revealed. 

The commencement ceremony was held at the John Ferraro Building in Downtown Los Angeles. Board of Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza, Board of Water and Power Commissioner Susana Reyes, Los Angeles City Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Hoppes, and Inspector of Public Works and Interim General Manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department, John L. Reamer, Jr. were present at the ceremony to address the 26 graduates. 

In the 6th year of the Academy, entrepreneurs and small business owners in the construction industry were invited to apply and participate in coursework with the goal of providing insight on doing business with the City of Los Angeles, construction services, procurement projects, contract compliance, and major initiatives of the Departments involved in developing this program. Academy graduates have received essential training that makes them better equipped to confront a rapidly changing world, which has resulted in many of them winning contracts with the City of Los Angeles. 

"Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy, and the LA Small Business Academy provides them with the resources and support to see their goals realized," said Board of Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza. "I'm proud of the leadership of the Bureau of Contract Administration and all of our partners that bring this program to life. Our goal is simple - we want to ensure that small businesses are met with opportunities and not obstacles."

The Bureau of Contract Administration is one of the lead agencies responsible for bringing resources and opportunities to small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout Los Angeles. From program development to logistics and coordination, Contract Administration also strives to build diverse Academy cohorts representative of minority, women, military veteran, and LGBTQ-owned firms. Support for small business and economic development efforts are part of the Department of Public Works' overarching goal to improve the quality of life for Angelenos. 

"We are thrilled to celebrate the 6th graduating class of the Small Business Academy and to see these motivated and well-prepared entrepreneurs play a role in helping our City family deliver on upcoming capital projects," said John L. Reamer, Jr. "These graduates reflect our efforts to continue moving forward with our commitment to building a thriving small business community in Los Angeles."