The newly developed Digital Equity Director position will be responsible for LA DEAL’s efforts to meet the primary goal of this project: increase the proportion of Los Angeles County residents able to access broadband through publicly-owned fiber-to-the-home by creating and convening a governance structure for fiber-owning public entities to explore the development of a multi-jurisdictional county-wide fiber network capable of offering consumers fast, reliable and affordable service.
The Director will work in concert with the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation team to stand up and grow this new initiative by creating and implementing a workplan, identifying needed capacity and technical assistance to support partners, cultivating relationships, convening municipal and community leaders, tracking progress, and communicate with diverse stakeholders. The Director will have a dual supervision role of UNITE-LA’s Sr. Manager of Equity Initiatives. Additionally, the Director will work closely with a consultant to the project.
Over the past 25 years, UNITE-LA has established itself as a trusted education and business intermediary, dedicated to improving the economic mobility and well-being of the region’s diverse rising workforce. Leveraging strategic cross-sector partnerships at local, statewide and national levels, we advance policies, practices and systems that strengthen anti-racism and equitable education and workforce outcomes from cradle through career. UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, expand quality K-12 education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college attainment, and ensure workforce readiness and success, especially for individuals from underserved communities or with high barriers to employment. UNITE-LA is committed to developing and sustaining a diverse workforce with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and inclusive for all. We are on a continuing journey to center equity and anti-racism in our internal operations and external efforts.
About LA Digital Equity Action League (LA DEAL)
UNITE-LA is co-convener, with the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation, of the Los Angeles Digital Equity Action League, which is the California Public Utilities Commission's Regional Broadband Consortium for the L.A. region. LA DEAL is a collaborative, community-driven process to assess and tackle the broadband gaps that exist in urban, rural and suburban communities across the Los Angeles region. We seek to address systemic issues to enable equitable broadband access and develop a strong infrastructure of civic leaders representing business, government, education, nonprofits, policy and health leaders, so that underserved and disadvantaged people have equal access to affordable, reliable, and high-speed internet service.
In September 2022, the Committee for Greater Los Angeles Internet Action Team (now known as the Angeleno Project), comprised of civic leaders representing business, nonprofit, education, and philanthropy released a policy blueprint Connecting Communities Countywide, Delivering Broadband as a Civil Right in Los Angeles. The blueprint recommends actions that local and regional government entities take to treat broadband as a utility with broadband policies reviewed through the lens of the public interest in L.A., including but not exclusively the creation of a public fiber network for Los Angeles County that will ensure all neighborhoods can access fast, reliable, and affordable internet.
LA DEAL is advancing the Internet Action Team’s goal to support the expansion of a fast, reliable, affordable broadband service throughout LA County by convening, supporting and growing the number of municipal and County stakeholders whose collective fiber assets, together with the potential and promise of funds and technical assistance for new fiber investments, will form the backbone of the county’s public fiber future.
- Develop a plan to stand up a new countywide broadband commission, with an advisory committee, and begin implementing it through a phased approach;
- Identify targeted strategies to support public entities to close broadband access and adoption gaps;
- Educate municipal and community leaders on the value and benefits of collaborating across multiple municipalities, influence decision makers to work together, and support the development of joint projects;
- Deploy technical assistance providers and other resources, such as grant writers, to communities and municipalities to take advantage of historic state and federal funding for infrastructure deployment;
- Identify a model that enables municipalities to monetize their networks and see their networks as forward-looking assets;
- Cultivate relationships with fiber-owning municipal and education leaders, community leaders, internet service providers;
- Build public will for the development of a new countywide broadband commission;
- Convene nonprofit/community leaders, local elected officials and policymakers, and city government representatives;
- Identify a model to sustain the project;
- Other activities and duties identified by partners, including but not limited to any ongoing advocacy, education, governance or budgetary matters.
Competencies & Skills for Success
- Entrepreneurial: leads with vision, cultivates innovation by creating new ideas and processes to address root causes of complex problems, applies multiple problem-solving techniques, inspires others with forward-looking ideas, and makes decisions in the face of uncertainty and risk.
- Systems-thinker: conducts root cause analyses when identifying issues/challenges, identifies levers that drive institutional behavior, brings cross-organization awareness when generating solutions.
- Project management: can generate a workplan for a new – and very complicated – project that has not been done before; manages multiple projects with different processes at the same time with different timelines.
- Strategic thinking: Identifies opportunities and partners to advance the work, by weighing limitations (i.e., capacity, resources, politics, policy, etc.) against big ideas.
- Growth mindset: Sees challenges as opportunities to learn and adjust; seeks out internal and external information to expand knowledge, and develops insights/implications for work; shares information with others that can broaden learning and influence their work.
- Collaborative: diplomatic; team-oriented; promotes collaborative decision-making processes and demonstrates ability to lead a team or initiative to reach consensus.
- Excellent verbal and written communication: can craft case statements, proposals, memos, and other communications to a diverse set of stakeholders; verbally communicate vision, plans, and ideas; can convene and facilitate conversations between individuals with different levels of technical expertise.
- Fund development: can identify funding opportunities and develop compelling proposals.
Candidates should have experience developing, launching and sustaining new initiatives. The Director should have experience working with, or for, municipalities and a proven record of building consensus across multiple public and private stakeholders. Additionally, candidates need to have knowledge of digital equity issues, with a focus on broadband infrastructure solutions. Having experience leading a team and knowledge of the Los Angeles ecosystem is a plus.
This is a full-time exempt position. While many staff continue to regularly work remotely, attendance at in-person meetings and events is expected several times throughout the year in the greater Los Angeles area. Occasional travel is required for in- and out-of-state conferences.
The starting salary range for this position is $100,000 - $120,000. If you are offered a position at UNITE-LA, your final compensation will be based on factors such as relevant skills, experience and/or education. In addition to those factors, we believe in the importance of pay equity and consider the internal equity of our current team members as a part of any final offer. Our competitive benefits package includes paid sick leave, vacation, work-life balance time off, and a robust paid holiday schedule; 401(k) participation with employer contribution; competitive health, vision and dental insurance, flexible spending accounts, and more. UNITE-LA promotes a culture of work-life harmony with flexible schedules and offers employee growth development plans to support career pathway development.
Interested candidates should submit their resume and a cover letter summarizing your qualifications for the position to [email protected], using the email subject line "Director of Digital Equity – (Last Name)." Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a priority deadline of Feb. 15, 2024.
UNITE-LA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to developing and sustaining a diverse workforce, because we believe that it makes our organization stronger. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or age. We will consider for employment all qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.