Zoom screenshot of Eco Friendly Silver Lake, a LACI APC project
On August 7, 2020, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) held a virtual event celebrating its second graduating class from its Advanced Prototyping Center (APC), a fellowship program designed to provide individuals from underrepresented communities training and opportunities to join the cleantech workforce.

“Whether it’s an internship or a full-time job, we know that only together that we can create this great economy, clean up the air, fight climate change,” said Matt Petersen, LACI President and CEO. “The only way it’ll work is if we’re all working towards one direction together.”

EWDD has provided ongoing financial support and funding to LACI’s incubator and accelerator programs since 2012.

Technological Innovations During COVID-19

The 12-week APC program continued during COVID-19 by connecting students through Zoom meetings. The program includes a rigorous two-week boot camp, along with a three-month internship at a cleantech company. To qualify for this program, participants are required to be Los Angeles County residents, provide proof of low-to-moderate income status and be part of an underrepresented group, including women and people of color.

Participants received technical training in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Design, along with training in interpersonal skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and communication. Participants ranged from recent high school and college graduates to former business owners, with varying degrees of experience in tech, CAD software, machining and electronics.

One project that the students presented was “Eco Friendly Silver Lake,” which explained the benefits of having high quality EV charging stations in communities such as Silver Lake (Zoom presentation screenshot above).

Kevin Galvan, Project Manager said, “These charging stations will help eliminate carbon monoxide pollution and help reach California’s quality standard through emissions by 2025.”

A career fair was held August 17 for employers to connect with students. Participants are scheduled to begin their cleantech internships on August 24, where they will receive three months of technical support and training to prepare for careers in cleantech.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of August 17, 2020. Read this issue and more.