Los Angeles Region

Comprised of Los Angeles and Orange County

Decarbonization requires a larger workforce, higher technology integration skills

Approximately 85,000 annual job openings indicate solid economic growth. Environmental and Equity progress requires advances in workforce development to decarbonize communities and create economic mobility for their residents.

Our Process:
Three-Part Data Analysis

TESC cultivates regional collaboratives that prioritize workforce initiatives to drive the triple bottom line of Economy, Environment, and Equity


Aligning workforce development priorities with regional economic initiatives
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Building essential workforce skills to support regional decarbonization
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Creating career opportunities for members of Disadvantaged Communities
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Employment growth in the construction and technical services sectors is constrained by underemployment and demographic factors

Los Angeles County real GDP growth is expected to only grow 1.8 percent in 2020, a marked slowdown from the brisk 3.7 percent growth rate in 2018. Marginally attached and part-time workers is just over 10 percent for the last several years, remaining stubbornly high despite broadly improving economic conditions.

Within this decline, construction employment is expected to increase considerably as transit expansion and development efforts are hurried to completion prior to the 2028 Olympics, although there will likely be greater demand for workers than can be met, especially in the short-term. Major employment growth is expected to be seen in the professional and business services sector, as the high demand for technical skills accelerates.

Environmental leadership and new housing construction are adding significant labor market demand, creating significant workforce development opportunities.

Economy | Environment | Equity
LA’s Green New Deal provides the roadmap

Achieving bold climate goals is both a moral imperative and a massive economic opportunity. LA’s Green New Deal creates a platform of innovation driving prosperity, sustainability as a core value, and a city where everyone belongs.

Highlights: The Los Angeles Green New Deal drives convergence of economic growth, environmental justice, and social equity over the next 15 years.
Economy | Environment | Equity
High-skill Occupational Clusters in Greatest Demand

Los Angeles regional economic growth is creating 84,875 job openings annually in the Energy, Construction, and Utilities Sector. These new positions support further economic growth and help drive the triple bottom line.

Highlights: A complex mix of education and training programs are needed to build capacity for serving these workforce priorities.
Economy | Environment | Equity


Innovative workforce solutions for environmental opportunities challenges are essential to achieve decarbonization at scale for impacted communities.

Los Angeles is home to the most polluted air in the country and the city consistently fails to meet federal standards for air quality. Currently, many of the city’s most vulnerable residents—as determined by health, economic, and demographic measures—are cut off from the city’s resilience infrastructure. CityLab

Major environmental elements supporting LA’s Green New deal include:

Solar: Comprehensive solar incentive programs for residents and businesses helped make Los Angeles the #1 Solar City in America according to Shining Cities 2018.

Energy Efficiency: Named the #1 ENERGY STAR City by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for having the most energy-efficient buildings in the U.S.

Transportation: Pledged to procure only zero-emission buses by 2025 to ensure that a major area of Los Angeles will be emissions-free by 2030, and installed 2,100 publicly available electric vehicle charging stations — the most of any U.S. city — with a plan for another 10,000 by 2022. Expanded public transit development in preparation for the 2028 Olympics.

Economy | Environment | Equity
Concentrations of Poor Environmental Quality

Communities most impacted by environmental issues cluster in twelve cities, reflecting heavy industrial and power generation footprints. Significant health issues are common in the region, attributable in part to environmental conditions.

Highlights: More than 4.7 million Los Angeles/Orange County residents live in the highest quartile of poor environmental quality among all communities in the state.
Economy | Environment | Equity
The Workforce Opportunity

Heavy industrial and power generation sites are the target of California’s Cap and Trade Legislation. Heavy traffic corridors are major pollution sources as well. Complex site-level and community-scale decarbonization projects will require significant new workforce competencies for advanced technology integration.

Emerging Occupations

  • Database Systems operators
  • Data analytics specialists
  • Coders and programmers
  • digital energy systems
    • Designers
    • Integrators
    • Operators
  • Digital Energy network specialists
    • Cybersecurity specialists
  • Digital programming specialists
    • Microgrid-associated technologies and networks
    • Energy auditing,surveying and benchmarking
    • Energy modeling
  • CAD/CAM drafters and operators
  • Energy systems
    • Sales specialists
    • Product marketing specialists
Highlights: Significant upgrades to education and training programs are required for essential technologies that can achieve environmental improvement in distressed communities and beyond.
Economy | Environment | Equity


A skilled workforce is central to economic competitiveness in today’s knowledge-driven economy. The region will face a skills gap unless education levels increase. By 2020, 44 percent of the state’s jobs will require an associates’ degree higher. Only 10 percent of Latino immigrants, 28 percent of U.S.-born Latinos, and 34 percent of Blacks and Native Americans have reached that level of education. As a result, nearly one in every five Los Angeles residents (18.4 percent) lives below the poverty line, which is about $24,600 a year for a family of four.

The Weingart Foundation has identified three areas of special interest: the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z), the Southeast Los Angeles County cities, and the community of Watts and Willowbrook. Identifying the challenges that these communities face can help the region’s leaders develop targeted solutions.

Economy | Environment | Equity
Communities in Need: Environmental Justice

Disadvantaged Communities are disproportionally affected by environmental issues. Mitigation or removal of environmental impacts is essential to quality of life for more than 4.7 million Los Angeles/Orange County residents. Hover over each population for a total count.

Highlights: These communities are among the most environmentally disadvantaged in the region. Environmental justice requires large scale measures to improve quality of life for community members.
Economy | Environment | Equity
Communities in Need: Social Equity

Social and economic mobility challenges are more severe in Disadvantaged Communities. Workforce development solutions are needed to create pathways out of poverty, requiring strong regional action.

Highlights: Social equity is a serious issue for members of these communities, adding the need for family wage jobs to health issues associated with poor environmental quality.
Economy | Environment | Equity
Abundant Job Opportunities, Targeted Workforce Development Required

Almost 85,000 job openings are projected annually for the Los Angeles & Orange County Energy, Construction, and Utilities Sector through 2026. TESC partnerships with community-based organizations and industry create a strong platform for pathways out of poverty.

The chart below displays median ECU hourly earnings as well as the living wage as calculated for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.

Highlights: Significant opportunities exist in middle-skill jobs for which members of Disadvantaged Communities can be trained and employed.
Economy | Environment | Equity