The 2013 West Coast Expo (WCE) will take place Sept. 27-28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and will offer attendees a variety of workshops, seminars and events designed to educate people, improve lives, help expand busineses and connect individuals to job opportunities.

The event kicks off on Friday at 8 a.m. with the always informative Urban Issues Breakfast Forum, hosted by Anthony Samad, Ph.D.

Despite all the other issues trying to grab people’s attention, the need for jobs remains an underlying drum beat in the country. This is particularly true in South Los Angeles, and newly elected Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price (9th District) will serve as the keynote speaker at a special edition of the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum.

Price and Samad will talk jobs and how to arrest persistent unemployment in Los Angeles as well as the contracting “blackout” of African American-owned businesses that is occurring, as the city undergoes a massive multi-billion dollar infrastructure redevelopment, creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in contracting opportunities.

As a state senator, Price worked towards expanding and improving job training opportunities, particularly for youth, and investing in families and their futures.

A strong and consistent advocate for small businesses, Price believes in policies that spark economic growth, encourage innovation, open the doors for diversity in public contracting and creates jobs. In 2012, he was selected as the small business Legislator of the Year by the California Small Business Association and the California Small Business Roundtable for his strong record of advocacy for small businesses in California.

As a senator, Price chaired the Joint Legislative Committee on the Arts, and one of his key accomplishments was holding a forum that explored how the arts create jobs in the region.

Price’s first motion as an L.A. City Councilman was to co-author with 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, legislation that would maintain city benefits for businesses operating in state enterprise zones, which were in jeopardy, when he came into office in July. (Enterprise zones are geographic areas featuring special incentives for businesses that open up or create jobs.)

Much of downtown is in a state enterprise zone and the city has its own set of benefits available to businesses operating in those areas.

State enterprise zones are scheduled for elimination in 2014, however there are several bills pending in the legislature that could impact this. The Price/Huizar motion would maintain the local benefits in the zone and direct the city’s new Economic Development Department (which former 9th District Councilwoman Jan Perry heads on an interim basis) to identify ways to replace the lost state incentives.

Breakfast is free to the first 300 attendees and begins promptly at 8 a.m. Reservations are required. RSVP to UrbanIssuesForum@aol.com or at (323) 789-6224.

The WCE opening ceremonies follow the breakfast forum and begin with the ribbon cutting in the lobby of the Convention Center. A press conference introducing expo organizers and sponsors follows.

The opening ceremonies are followed by seminars focusing on business, health and wealth.

Growing your business

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a difference between success and failure when you are building a small business.

The 2013 West Coast Expo is presenting a number of workshops designed to help take entrepreneurs to the next step in growing their businesses.

Here is what is offered on Friday Sept. 27:

• Growing Your Businesses Through Banking” will be held from noon-1:30 p.m. in Room 304C at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The presentation by US Bank will focus on helping business owners maintain their existing customer base in addition to expanding. Presenters will introduce the bank’s Small Business Growth Package that can be used as a loyalty program. Attendees can learn to devise a plan for using this program in their company.

• During a workshop from noon-1:30 p.m. in Room 306B, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will introduce attendees to the resources available from the federal government agency to help start, grow, and expand their business. Particular focus will be placed on accessing capital through the SBA guaranteed loan program.

• “Using the Fastest Growing Marketing Platform to Grow Your Business: Mobile Marketing Meeting Small to Medium Business Goals,” is sponsored by AT&T from noon-1:30 p.m. in Room 304A.

• The presentation “Taking Care of Business with the Small Business Administration” (SBA), sponsored by Chase in Room 304C from 2-3:30 p.m., will teach entrepreneurs how financial institutions utilize the SBA to help support small business growth and expansion.

• Business owners interested in learning about opportunities connected to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority CleanTech Initiative can find out details from 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 306B.

Metro officials will provide information on procurement opportunities connected to the agency’s new cleaner technology program including renewable energy, emission reduction, installation of solar panels, electric vehicle charger operations and the bio-methane program.

• “Get it in Writing: Survey the General Structure of Business Agreements, Discover the Tricks, Triggers, and Red Flags Need to Look for and Business Terms You Just Can’t Do” is scheduled from 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 304A. Attorney Shaune B. Arnold will discuss some of the basic principles that make a contract an enforceable agreement. You will also learn how to terminate a contract properly, without triggering litigation. She will survey a myriad of provisions that must always be in a contract, as well as additional provisions that should never make it into print (negotiate these out every time). We will explore ethical considerations in contract formation and performance, foolproof ways to deal with the “risk of loss” inherent in product transactions, and what to do when things go wrong in a business relationship.

• “Access to Capital,” presented by Wells Fargo Bank from 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 304B, will provide information to small business owners who are interested in obtaining funding from financial institutions or Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) financing intermediaries to help grow their business.

CDFIs supply the tools enabling economically disadvantaged individuals to become self-sufficient stakeholders in their own future. These tools include providing financial services, loans, and investments; offering training and technical assistance services; and promoting development efforts that enable individuals and communities to effectively use credit and capital.

On Saturday

• “That It Really is a Small World After All: Using Social Media, Link Strategies, SEO, and Affiliate Marketing to Drive Global Sales.” Attorney Shaune B. Arnold, will lead this information-packed workshop—from noon-1:30 p.m. in room 306B— that presents an overview of how to set up and implement Internet marketing strategies for your business. You’ll learn which Web 2.0 applications are invaluable prospecting tools for your business. Then you’ll discover how to simplify Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to maximize your web traffic. Also discover the secrets of implementing article marketing with link-back strategies to increase your brand as an expert in your field. Finally, gain instant market share and increase your business revenues by implementing and leveraging strategic affiliate marketing relationships.

• “From Entrepreneur to Businesspreneur” features Shelon Douglas talking about the new way to do small business from 3-4:30 p.m. in Room 304A Entrepreneurs now become bizarchitect designers using digital technology with 12 key elements systematized for a global framework that will allow you to acquire a variety of assets, optimizing them into a maximized profit machine. When you attend this event, here’s what you’ll learn:

1.) How to become a 21st century game changer.

2.) The key elements used to design a blueprint business system fit for a global framework.

3.) Digital technology designed for small business owners to drive innovation and results back to your business.

4.) Why it’s so powerful to incorporate these time-proven characteristics into your business model—cash flow, networking, technology, residual income, and you.

The Tasting Spot

Check out the healthy food presentations featuring Chef Barbie Flores along with other local chefs. Learn how to prepare quick, healthy, and organic meals while taking advantage of the free healthy food and beverage sampling.

Chef Barbie, a private chef and 2009 graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School as well as owner/operator of BiaBreeze Catering/Art-Flo, is passionate about food and believes that love is food.

“I love bringing people together with my work,” explains Flores. “The process of creating something delicious is exhilarating for me. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so hard work, fast and furious, you might say, does not bother me!

“My work also reflects my views on giving to those in need.”


On Saturday, the Step 4 Health Fitness Clinic, presented by the California Step Association, will give individuals a chance to start off the day routines guaranteed to get the blood pumping. The workshop runs from 10 a.m.-11:35 a.m. in Room 306B and is a dance clinic that introduces the performance art of step, which is most notably performed by members of fraternities and sororities on college campuses. The clinic will begin with a brief overview of the origin of step, transition into step instruction led by the California Step Association All-Star Team (as seen on American Idol/Idols Across America Los Angeles & the Kris Jenner Show w/Ciara & Sean “Diddy” Combs) and end with attendees performing a step routine.

Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothing or fitness attire and sneakers or flat boots.


Associate Professor Nina T. Harawa, M.P.H., Ph.D., of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science/College of Medicine will host the workshop “Understanding What Puts Black and Brown Women at Higher Risk for HIV” from 10-11:35 a.m. in Room 304A.

Since earliest days of the AIDS epidemic, the likelihood of an African American or a Latina woman becoming infected with HIV was much higher than for a White or Asian woman. The situation remains the same today. This presentation will discuss these patterns of risk, what we know about the reasons behind these disparities, and what women of color can do to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

From doing the dance to watching the action, attendees will get an opportunity to admire the dexterity and creativity of step teams from around the region.

Weight-A-Minute weight loss competition

The winner of the West Coast Expo Weight-A-Minute weight loss competition will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 28, on the main stage, during the final weigh-in ceremony hosted by Iron Man AC Green. The competition was managed by health and fitness experts who worked with people interested in competing for cash prizes for the individual achieving the greatest overall health improvement over a 60-day fitness plan.

The competition required participants to register, weigh-in and complete a full health and fitness screening with WCE partnering health and fitness professionals, Roots Nutrition in Inglewood.

Coach Mai Brooks and her team at Roots Nutrition focused on motivating and educating each contestant on fitness and nutrition and offered simple meal plan ideas, effective workouts, and bi-weekly motivational calls, and/or rallies for optimal success.

Brook’s weight loss and fitness program has successfully helped hundreds of people achieve their goals. Her soft heart, love for people, and passion for fitness make her a valuable asset as a fitness coach.

Participants in the competition were required to check-in periodically leading up to the West Coast Expo to get updates on weight loss, and changes in body fat percentages and measurements.

Participants will be judged by their overall health and weight improvement with the winner receiving a $1,500 grand prize.

For more information on Roots Nutrition, visit www.rootsnutrition.com.


From 2-3:30 p.m. Kevin Brown presents “How to Graduate from College Debt Free” as part of the Legacy Thinking Lab in Room 304A.

This is an interactive workshop where Brown walks student and their parents/guardians through this proven strategy for earning a free college education (valued at more than $140,000) step by step. The workshop teaches participants how they too can come from a lower economic or social background, score as low as 140 on the SATs and still take advantage of opportunities to study aboard, earn multiple degrees, join social organizations and walk away with zero college debt.

In this workshop participants will:

• Learn three dynamic strategies that can generate personal education funding

• Learn strategies to research funding sources for college

• Establish a plan of action for securing funding for full college tuition

Jobs Rebuild America Career Fair

With the nation’s unemployment rate hovering at 7.3 and the percentage of Black folks out of work at 12.6 percent, any help to really connect to potential employment is a boon.

The West Coast Expo (WCE) will once again feature a job fair, and this year it will run for two days.

In conjunction with the National Urban League’s Jobs Rebuild America campaign, the expo will feature at least 20 employers with hundreds of jobs to fill.

Positions will range from entry level to professional in industries such as education, aerospace, transportation, banking/finance/insurance, construction/engineering services, retail, and medical.

There are also firms bringing information on their management trainee programs.

And if you have been looking for work a long time with no luck, it might time to take advantage of the resume review and development services that will be offered free of charge at the WCE job fair.

A number of workshops will also give tips needed to help you snag a job.

On Friday Sept. 27, author Stuart Taylor presents the workshop “How to Ace a Job Interview” from 2-3:30 p.m. in room 304B of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Taylor, who takes the tips in his workshop from his book by the same name, offers the interview advice, based on more than 20 years of proven, time-tested tips.

The Urban League will also set up a program called America’s Job Centers of California. After individuals register, there will be an area called the Empowerment Zone where job seekers will receive resume reviews and can attend workshops. The featured workshop will be facilitated by Larry Braman, president of Career University, and he will discuss “Tips for Working a Career Fair” on Friday at 10 and 11 a.m.

In addition, employers will conduct interviews on site, so dress to impress and bring plenty of resumes. For additional information, call (323) 905-1306. Finally, computers will also be set up onsite to enable people easy access to apply for jobs online and to revise resumes.