The Entrepreneur Educational Center Inc. (EECI), based in Watts and led by CEO Barbara J. Stanton, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work with AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles represented by Jenny Krusoe, AltaSea board secretary and founding executive director. 

The collaboration will open the doors to new career pathways for Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) residing in Los Angeles County areas. EECI and AltaSea will work together to bring equity, small business, and jobs to those communities through new employment opportunities. 

The non-profit organizations are part of a coalition with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) that is a finalist in the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional  Challenge (BBBRC) through the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The LAEDC/AltaSea/EECI coalition is one of 60 finalists across the U.S., from 529 applicants, competing for grants of up to $100 million.  

In partnership with AltaSea and LA County Parks and Recreation, classes for 18-30- year-olds  will start at Ted Watkins Park where they receive deep-sea diving equipment and training on the basics of deep-sea diving. 

The classroom will then move to the AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, to experience the real feel of the ocean and a taste of deep-sea diving. The goal is to create pathways to Port of Los Angeles and blue economy jobs that include underwater robotics, aquaculture farming, and other exciting jobs of the future. 

“We are people living in the Alameda corridor and we’ve needed equity and justice in obtaining jobs and starting small businesses since the rebellion of 1965. To have a program that introduces and trains young Black and Brown people for jobs in this growing, vital, and earth preserving economy at the Port—that’s how we have to work it, to keep this area from being underserviced,” Stanton explained. “We plan to build back better BIPOC communities, one small business at a time.” 

AltaSea’s, Kruse said the organization was excited about the partnership with EECI and looked forward to successful outcomes. 

“Together we will build the blue economy and all the sectors that will counteract the negative impact of climate change,” Kruse said. “We are also projecting the creation of 1,000+ new jobs and 100+ start-up businesses in the next five years with this  partnership.” 

For more information visit: www.entrepreneureducationalcenter.org or www.altasea.org. 

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