Story and photo courtesy Jamie Francisco, Economic/Workforce Dev.
Economic and Workforce Development staff gathered for a Parisian-themed celebration Dec. 18 to bid au revoir to General Manager Jan Perry, who completed her tenure at the end of the year. Jan Perry, longtime Councilwoman, General Manager and Club Member, retired from the City after 28 years of City service. She began her new position as the Executive Director of the Infrastructure Funding Alliance, a statewide group dedicated to developing and advocating approaches and strategies that motivate government at all levels to implement environmentally and fiscally sustainable infrastructure projects.
At the Dec. 18 retirement party, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Chief of Staff Ana Guerrero presented a certificate to Jan on behalf of the mayor and thanked her for her five years and six months of leadership of Economic and Workforce Development. Longtime colleagues including General Managers from other departments and EWDD Retirees also attended the party.
In her farewell speech, Jan thanked the EWDD staff for their hard work and issued one last request – for EWDD to stand together and move EWDD forward. “Work with integrity,” she said. “You are doing the people’s work. You are taking federal money, you are making people’s lives better and you need to fight for that. When you come to work every day, you are not here to be liked. You are here to do the right thing, and that is to be honest and to protect the people’s interests above all else. If you do that, you will never have to look over your shoulder, you’ll never have to remember what you said, and you will always be on the right side of history.
“It’s been the privilege of my life to serve the people of the City of Los Angeles,” Perry said. “I look forward to this next phase in my journey where I will continue to serve the people of California by promoting infrastructure projects that will stimulate economic development and create good paying jobs.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Ms. Perry to the General Manager post after she successfully served three terms on the Los Angeles City Council, serving the 9th District communities of Little Tokyo, Downtown and South Los Angeles. The impact she made during her 12 years in office brought visibility to the newly formed EWDD, because of her work on economic development projects that revitalized neglected neighborhoods.
Ms. Perry successfully led the transition as the former Community Development Dept. was dismantled to form EWDD, which also included the creation and integration of a new Economic Development Division (EDD) designed to stimulate LA’s economy by leveraging the City’s real estate assets into development projects that could create jobs and revitalize struggling communities.
During her five-year tenure as General Manager, Ms. Perry led an interconnected system of 14 YouthSource Centers, 16 WorkSource Centers and nine BusinessSource Centers. These resource and training centers are strategically located in LA’s underserved neighborhoods and provide Angelenos at key stages of life – youth, job seekers and entrepreneurs – an opportunity for success. EWDD and these centers also provide the platform to implement and execute many of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Orders and key initiatives by administering programs that invest in LA’s most valuable resource – its people.
Ms. Perry provided strength and stability to EWDD, and as the voice of the department she often provided inspirational messages to graduates of job training programs, including youth, job seekers recently released from prison, homeless, older adults, and other vulnerable and underrepresented populations. She emphasized success stories featuring people of color, especially female entrepreneurs, to show real life examples to people from the City of LA’s underrepresented neighborhoods that success is achievable and possible.
Congratulations, Jan, from the Club on a great City career!