Press Release: UNITE-LA Celebrates 25 Years of Impactful Leadership with Federal, State and Local Representatives


Sept. 29, 2023

Claudine Battisti



Program Included Fireside Chat with LASUD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho


LOS ANGELES – Today UNITE-LA hosted "Celebrating the Future of Collaboration: A Civic Symposium to Dream of What Is Possible the Next 25 Years" as the nonprofit marked 25 years of serving youth from historically marginalized communities in the Los Angeles region.

Founded as an education and workforce development intermediary by the City of L.A., Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and L.A. Community College District in 1998, UNITE-LA's collaborative impact has resonated widely with cross-sector leadership. From advancing shared goals through the L.A. Compact and advocating for equitable cradle-through-career policy priorities to launching career pathways in high-growth, high-mobility health care and technology sectors, UNITE-LA has been integral to the collaborative efforts of regional leaders. Moreover, the organization has served roughly 300,000 youth, delivering approximately $1 billion of state and federal financial aid for students over two decades of L.A. Cash for College.

"Today, we gathered friends, partners, funders and youth to mark our 25th year, and to envision how we can collaborate to make an even greater impact in the next quarter century," said Alysia Bell, UNITE-LA President. "The true strength of our organization has always been its role as a convener, bringing diverse voices together to forge a common vision and drive positive change. On this day, we honor and strengthen our commitment to such deep partnerships."

For 25 years, UNITE-LA has worked to build partnerships and foster connections with the business and education communities. These collaborations advance comprehensive, cradle-to-career policies, systemic changes and direct programming that promote equitable economic mobility and regional prosperity. As such, UNITE-LA engages the business community as an ally in cross-sector education and workforce policy efforts, including early care and education, college access and success and pathways to high-mobility careers with family-sustaining wages for all.

The symposium included the following distinguished speakers:

  • Alysia Bell, President, UNITE-LA
  • Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and founding president of the Learning Policy Institute (Recorded remarks)
  • Sen. María Elena Durazo, CA Senate District 26
  • Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon, CA Assembly District 62
  • Tamika Lang, Senior Manager, State and Local Government Operations, California, The Boeing Company
  • Alessandra Lezama, CEO, TOOTRiS
  • Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Anne Parmeter, Instructional Designer, Center for Justice and Economic Advancement at JFF
  • Brent Parton, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
  • NBC4 Reporter, Darsha Philips (Emcee)
  • Neil Sullivan, Executive Director, Boston Private Industry Council
  • Dr. Maggie Switek, Director of Regional Economics, Research Department, Milken Institute
  • David Vela, President, Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees

Breakout sessions held during the event discussed ways to address workforce shortage gaps, how the L.A. region can collaborate for sustainable, economic mobility and how to build pathways for an inclusive, clean energy future. In addition, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho took part in a fireside chat with NBC4 reporter, Darsha Philips.

"I am so proud of our 25 years of unwavering commitment to equitable economic development through education and workforce development. Here's to continued community collaboration that creates a brighter future for all," Bell concluded.



Over the past 25 years, UNITE-LA has been a trusted education-business intermediary, dedicated to supporting the development of an effective local public education system, so that all children and youth succeed in school, college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase equity and access to high-quality early childhood education, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals facing systemic barriers into the workforce. Visit

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