Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Transforming Youth. Enhancing Communities.

aka LA Conservation Corps, LA Corps, LACC   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  https://www.lacorps.org

Mission

The primary mission of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success by providing them with job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.

Ruling year info

1985

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Wendy Butts

Main address

PO Box 861658

Los Angeles, CA 90086-1658 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-4002138

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Environmental Beautification (C50)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Low-income youth face these problems: high unemployment, low high school graduation rates, and closing the middle-skills gap. As of November 2021, Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate was 8.9% (EDD Labor Market Information), but among young adults and in disadvantaged communities, the rates are higher. Twenty-three percent of all young adults (16-24) in Los Angeles County are out of work or out of school (Measure of America). Los Angeles Unified School District’s class of 2020 graduation rate was 87% (California Department of Education), but less than half meet the minimum requirements for entry into the California State University and University of California systems (Los Angeles Community College District). Employers have expressed the need for a more skilled workforce and have cited the middle-skills gap as an obstacle to filling available jobs. Middle-skill jobs require more than a high school education but not a four-year college degree.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conservation Programs

Environmental conservation programs serve as job training opportunities for at-risk young adults and school-aged youth. Work projects include habitat restoration, tree planting, park and trail construction, graffiti removal, green space development, resource recycling, energy efficiency, and alternative energy.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Supportive services and transition assistance for at-risk young adults. Services include barrier removal, basic needs assistance, behavioral counseling, life skills training, job placement, college/career guidance, and scholarships.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The After-School Program provides academic enrichment programs for 16 LAUSD elementary and middle school campuses. This program provides homework assistance and engages youth in structured activity clubs focused on arts, performing arts, digital arts, and computers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

California Association of Local Conservation Corps 2018

The Corps Network 2021

Awards

Project Innovation 2019

NBCUniversal

Affiliations & memberships

The Corps Network 2019

California Association of Local Conservation Corps 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of contracts/purchase agreements that the organization holds for purchase of its products/services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Conservation Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each year, the Corps takes on approximately 30 new contracts and successfully closes out 20, with nearly 100 contracts active at any given time, totaling approximately $18 million in revenues.

Total cost of work acquired this year (in dollars)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Conservation Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

For conservation programs only.

Number of placements defined as full-time

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Corpsmember Development

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Corpsmembers who exited to jobs and/or post-secondary education.

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Corpsmember Development

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

At then end of FY18/19, 75 Corpsmembers exited to jobs or college/vocational school.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Corpsmember Development

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The workforce development program provided 220,000 hours of paid work experience and on-the-job training to 462 low-income 18- to 25-year-olds (with 250 active at any given time).

Number of hours of training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Corpsmember Development

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The workforce development program provided 220,000 hours of paid work experience and on-the-job training to 462 low-income 18- to 25-year-olds (with 250 active at any given time).

Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Corpsmember Development

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In CY2018, 19 Corpsmembers earned their high school diplomas out of 106 who had joined us without graduating from high school.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our youth/workforce development goals:
* Enable program participants (called Corpsmembers) to earn their high school diploma, if they enter the program without one
* Train Corpsmembers trained for employability in green industries or better preparation for post-secondary education

Our environmental conservation goals:
* Promote sustainable recreation
* Restore the urban tree canopy
* Increase greenspace in greenspace-poor urban areas
* Restore natural habitat in parks and nature preserves in and around Los Angeles County
* Protect the coastal ecosystem
* Promote recycling and reduce consumer waste
* Promote energy efficiency and water conservation

First-phase Corpsmembers alternate between work and school, as well as receiving supportive services and job/life skills training. Second-phase Corpsmembers select a Green Career Pathway—natural land management, zero waste, construction, energy, or manufacturing—and receive specialized job training and industry-recognized certifications. After successful program completion, Corpsmembers will have the qualifications of a competitive entry-level employee in their chose field or be prepared for college or vocational school leading to greater career opportunities.

Corpsmembers receive paid work experience and on-the-job training while performing environmental conservation work projects and service learning projects intended to make Los Angeles a cleaner and greener place:
* Building and maintaining hiking trails and walking paths, which facilitate sustainable recreation
* Planting trees in disadvantaged communities, which help restore the urban tree canopy
* Building parks and community gardens, which increase greenspace in greenspace-poor urban areas
* Invasive species removal and native species replanting in parks and nature preserves in and around Los Angeles County
* Reducing fire fuel to protect people and property from wild fires
* Restoring habitat to improve the survivability of vulnerable species
* Leading clean-up activities and environmental education, which help to protect the coastal ecosystem
* Recycling beverage containers, used tires, used oil, and e-waste
* Rescuing food waste to reduce impact on landfills and edible foodstuffs help to feed people in need

Young Adult Corps is the foundational youth/workforce development program, and for three decades, it has successfully served as a platform for job training and personal development to transform the lives of at-risk youth from disadvantaged communities. A robust Corpsmember Development team delivers supportive services (case management, barrier removal, housing/transportation/childcare assistance, and medical/legal referrals) and transition assistance (job hunting, college applications). Our work sites—Northeast LA, South LA, East LA, Compton, northeast San Fernando Valley, and central San Fernando Valley—enable Corpsmembers to gain a variety of experiences working on conservation and community service projects all over Los Angeles County. Over the years, Los Angeles Conservation Corps has developed relationships with city, county, state, and federal governments, as well as many allied community-based organizations, implementing over 100 projects, totaling $18 million, which provide Corpsmembers with more than 200,000 hours of work (aggregate) every year.

Los Angeles Conservation Corps is proud to have transformed the lives of more than 20,000 young people since 1986. Young Adult Corps serves more than 400 young adults per year, completing over 300,000 hours of work experience and job training. In 2016, we adopted Green Career Pathways as a framework for organizing work, education, training, supportive services, and transition assistance into employer-advised curriculum tracks leading to job opportunities in growing green sectors.

The Corps has been advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for 35 years, because we have always served BIPOC youth. Recent efforts have been more intentional and focused on combating systemic racism. Precipitated by the Ferguson unrest in 2016, we hosted town halls with staff and Corpsmembers, and these frank discussions illuminated pressure points for our community. Following the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests in 2020, we formed an Equity Team to take programmatic and material steps to turn abstract ideas into action. The goals are to improve how people in the organization work with each other to work better for the benefit of our Corpsmembers and to give our Corpsmembers the tools to deal with interpersonal and system racism in the workplace and the structures they will have to navigate out in the world. The outcomes will include social equity increased by increasing economic mobility through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Corps’ first principle is ensuring that the board and the staff reflect the community we serve, and this has been true since 1985. The staff is 88% BIPOC and the board 50%, because our Corpsmembers are at least 97% BIPOC. We have been increasing representation on the Board of Directors, and with the current DEI initiative, we have an intentional initiative to achieve increased diversity throughout our leadership.

The Corps’ second principle is putting Corpsmembers first and centering care on Corpsmember voice. It is crucial for frontline staff to be culturally sensitive to the program participants they serve face to face, and everyone is trained in Trauma-Informed Care and culturally sensitive interventions. Leadership Councils composed of Corpsmembers at each work center are intended to give Corpsmembers agency regarding their care.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, specific efforts included:
• Equity team formation
• Anti-racism training
• Anti-racist book club
• Data analysis
• Staff and Corpsmember survey
• Engaging pro bono consulting for systems change
• Joining state and national initiatives for public policy and issues awareness

Future plans:
• Drafting equity-based values statement to drive activities
• Identifying quantifiable outcomes of applying equity-based values
• Training for staff and Corpsmembers
• Hiring DEI Director
• Expanding from race to include gender and LGBTQIA+ issues

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Los Angeles Conservation Corps serves out-of-work and/or out-of-school young adults (18-25) from low-income families in disadvantaged communities and at-risk, school-aged youth (14-18) from schools in underserved neighborhoods.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The Brownfields Job Training Program changed training curriculum based on the experiences of program alumni and the requests of current program participants in order to align trainees better with real-world job openings. The Equity Team composed of board, staff, and clients recommended that a board member position be opened and dedicated to target population representation.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Los Angeles Conservation Corps
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Board of directors
as of 1/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Dana Treister

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Term: 2021 -


Board co-chair

Ms. Samantha Martinez

Kindel Gagen Public Affairs Advocacy

Term: 2019 -

Albert Chavez

United Ways of California

Mercedes Morton

Law Office of Mercedes Salomon Morton

Bryan LeRoy

Nixon Peabody

Teresa Burton

Focusing Philanthropy

Dawn Wilson

Southern California Edison (ret.)

Anne Freiermuth

Mission Math

Tom Eisenhauer

Renewable Resources Group

Anthony Gingiss

Virgin Orbit

Barbara Romero

LA Sanitation & Environment

Nicolo Rusconi

BLVD Hospitality

Caroline Wittcoff

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Jay Bell

TELACU Construction Management

Kecia Washington

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Frank Lopez

Southern California Gas Company

Hildi Snodgrass

The Shalizi Group

Rosalie Barcinas

Southern California Edison

Jasson Crockett

Snap, Inc.

Simboa Wright

SEIU Local 721

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.