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Spring 2023 Project Spotlight: Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC)

Learn about how our consultants created strategies for new programs that LACC is interested in further developing and implementing as part of their current impact model.

180DC-USC Members went to LACC's Compton Creek Site to help clean up the park and maintain it for the public's leisure.

Problem Statement

What vocational education opportunities are feasible to implement and will make Corpsmembers more employable? What mental health resources can LACC provide to Corpsmembers to improve their well-being?

About Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC)

The Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) is a nonprofit providing at-risk youth and young adults with job training, education, and work experience. Through their programs, participants get paid for working on conservation projects while also receiving support in exploring potential careers and finding the resources they need. Typical projects include planting trees, restoring hiking trails, and covering up graffiti. They serve 200+ young adults every year, allowing these young adults to gain skills to become more employable in the future.

Problem Description

LACC as a whole has wanted to scale up their operations and bring in more young adults to their programming. However, they wanted to better organize their current pathways through that GCP (Green Career Pathways) Program that help participants to become more employable. Thus, they wanted us to reach out to potential employers that could be landing spots for participants in their program and ask them what would help Corpsmembers to get to this spot and become more employable.

They also asked us to build out their ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Program, which is the mental health program that they hope to pilot. They understand that many people who come through their organization may also struggle with mental health problems and thus, they wanted us to figure out what would be the best route toward helping these individuals.

Project Agenda & Objectives

GCP Program: Develop a list of vocational education opportunities that are feasible for LACC to pursue and employers are looking for when hiring. Plant the seed for formation of potential bridge employers:

  1. Research: Learn more about the current workforce development space and understand how the GCP Program works. Find additional certifications that could be added to their matrix and ones offered by City Colleges.

  2. Outreach: Develop a list of employers that Corpsmembers could potentially work at in the future based on where LACC would want them placed and where alumni have been placed. Reach out to these individuals through informational interviews and email.

  3. Adapt: Analyze which trainings from the list would be best applicable toward helping Corpsmembers to get employed by the organizations we have spoke with. Think about how we can put them on a path to success

  4. Develop: Create guidelines for which trainings are feasible to be implemented. Provide LACC with transition documents to continue the conversation post-project.

ACES Program: Identify potential resources that LACC can use to provide comprehensive mental health services to those they serve

  1. Research: Learn more about what ACES are and nonprofits both in the mental health space and that are competitors with LACC.

  2. Interview: Interview staff and alumni to understand what the constraints are and what is needed. Attempt to interview competitors to ask what their mental health programs look like.

  3. Adapt: Think of ideas for LACC's mental health program based on needs and constraints found.

  4. Create a guide detailing what LACC's options are for the initiative. Research on how what mental health certifications staff can take. Research on how a partnership with other nonprofits look for information sessions or referrals. Research which nonprofits would be best suited for these partnerships.

1) GCP Program, In More Depth

We researched vocational education opportunities or trainings for Corpsmembers and which employers would be able to employ them. Through our research, we found 50+ certifications that Corpsmembers could do and 30+ potential businesses. We connected with 12 points of contact and worked out ideas for opportunities at these organizations and which certifications would help Corpsmembers to become more employable.

2) ACES Program, In More Depth

We researched potential avenues for LACC's mental health initiative. We found that Corpsmembers wanted more mental health workshops and access to mental health resources. We also found that a mental health certifications for workers at LACC could only do so much, so we pivoted and focused on types of partnerships that LACC could work on to either provide information sessions or be a resource to be referred to.

The Impact of 180DC's Work

The GCP work will be implemented by helping Corpsmembers to be more employable through taking the trainings that we advised. Hopefully, the employers that we have spoke to will be more open to developing a pipeline with LACC. By having this is place, we are hoping that LACC will be able to scale up and help more participants get through the program and become employed.

As for the ACES program, this work will help to provide options for LACC to choose from when building out their mental health initiative. By choosing an option, Corpsmembers will be cared for more holistically and be able to reach higher levels of executive functioning.


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