Mayor Garcetti launches program to bridge the digital divide – Mayor Eric Garcetti


Vision Lab, a 12-week business idea accelerator, is starting in South L.A.
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti launches Vision Lab — a program to support entrepreneurs in South L.A. seeking to address the digital divide, train youth and adults in skills that may lead to jobs in the tech sector, and empower small businesses to modernize their operations.
“We’re committed to closing the digital divide in Los Angeles because everyone deserves equal opportunity to grow, thrive, and succeed,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Vision Lab harnesses the talent and creativity of our city to ensure that students have access to reliable internet, local businesses can take their businesses online, and no one is left behind in our connected world.” 
Vision Lab is launching with an inaugural class of 15 entrepreneurs who will participate in a 12-week program to turn their ideas into successful businesses. 
“Closing the digital divide in South LA positions youth for the next generation of tech jobs and expands opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive in the tech sector,” said EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull. “EWDD is delighted to partner with VisionLAB LA in its mission to create equitable opportunities in tech for the South LA community.” 
Vision Lab is a partnership of the Mayor’s Office, the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department, Brotherhood Crusade YouthSource Center, UCLA Extension, and other public and private partners. 
“Our collaboration with the City of LA Vision Lab offers a way to engage the diverse communities we serve in Los Angeles,” said Eric A. Bullard, Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension.  “UCLA Extension intends to leverage the resources and expertise in our continuing education division to contribute to the viability and long-term success of local entrepreneurs.” 
“Brotherhood Crusade is honored to partner with the Mayor’s Office to bring the Vision Lab to the residents of South LA. Angelenos that reside in South Los Angeles are visionaries, innovative, inspired and driven. They don’t lack the passion or desire to be successful, they lack access to resources and opportunities,” said Charise Henry, Brotherhood Crusade Vice President, Workforce Development. “Initiatives such as the Vision Lab address the deepening digital divide and open the doors and pathways of success. We are excited to see the new business ventures that are cultivated from the students in the Vision Lab @ South LA.”
Vision Lab is funded through Mayor Garcetti’s 2021-22 Justice Budget, which allocates  $17 million to digital inclusion, including expanded access to public wifi and the modernization of public computer labs, as well as an expansion of LAPL’s Tech2Go program, greater access to low-cost internet for Angelenos, and other digital inclusion programs across City departments.
For more information about the program and upcoming event dates, visit Visionlab.LA
Mayor Eric Garcetti
City of Los Angeles
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