Los Angeles County has dozens of major industries, each with rich ecosystems of businesses, talent, suppliers, logistics networks, R&D and entrepreneurs. The L.A. region is also known for innovation as creative collisions occur where industries overlap, driving new business concepts, making L.A. County the creative capital of the nation. As an example, many high-tech businesses are growing where there is a confluence between aerospace and entertainment, gaming and animation, content development and distribution, arts and content. L.A. is also a region where the supersectors of high technology and manufacturing both employ hundreds of thousands of workers. Learn more about the region’s key industries on our pages, and engage with LAEDC’s industry cluster growth initiatives. LAEDC is working to foster growth of well-paying jobs in the key industries of L.A County, and you can learn more about that work below.
LAEDC Supports Success of our Region’s Export-Oriented Industry Clusters
Where will we find the well-paying jobs of tomorrow? How can we—as an economic region—create more of these jobs while also ensuring that more of our residents are able to access these jobs?
For answers to these questions, we must look to the regionally competitive, growing and export-oriented industries, which are comprised of small-, medium and large-sized businesses. Current evidence suggests that focused industry cluster development can unleash incredible growth potential when used as an approach that cuts across the traditional fields and tools of economic and workforce development, helping to enhance their effectiveness. Businesses (large and small) in traded or export-oriented industry clusters, by definition, sell goods and services beyond the region in which they are located. They produce a reinforcing cycle of job creation, wage growth, investment and economic prosperity. As concentrations of businesses, support services, suppliers and competitors grow, they generate better products and improved processes, and attract skilled workers, becoming even more competitive and gaining market share.
Businesses in traded industries also drive the local service economy, triggering ripple effects that are felt across our local businesses (in terms of jobs, wages and tax revenues), offering the best chance for bringing greater prosperity to more residents and raising standards of living across more of our communities. Such positive effects are accelerated when a region’s capacity building activities are directed towards supporting these industries.
Only by understanding a cluster’s economic value, regional strength, and regional asset (and gap) profile can we shape and direct sector-specific growth strategies. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has recognized the power of focusing on key traded industry clusters, such as the Biosciences industry, as a key tenet of its program to advance an economic development across the county.
With this in mind, regional economic development capacity-building should focus on the Los Angeles region’s prominent traded industry clusters, which today include: Advanced Transportation & Clean Vehicles and Fuels, Aerospace & Defense, Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Devices & Health Services, Education & Knowledge Creation, Entertainment & Digital Media, Fashion & Apparel, Hospitality & Tourism, Information tech & Analytical Instruments, Marketing, Design & On-line Publishing, Trade & Logistics.
Since 2012, the LAEDC has led the way in terms of promoting, influencing and reconfiguring regional economic development programs and priorities around building capacity in the traded (export-oriented) industries in which L.A. County has productive and/or comparative advantages, such as: aerospace, advanced transportation, biosciences, entertainment/digital media, and trade and logistics. This is because evidence suggests that focused development of industry clusters – as a key organizational unit for understanding and improving performance of regional economies – can unleash incredible growth potential when used as an approach that cuts across the traditional fields and tools of economic, community and workforce development, helping to enhance their effectiveness. In particular, the LAEDC focuses its capacity building efforts on traded or export-oriented industries, which sell goods and services beyond the region in which they are located, and in so doing, produce a reinforcing cycle of job creation, real wage growth, investment and economic prosperity, while also driving the local service economy, triggering ripple effects that are felt across our local and offering the best chance for bringing greater prosperity to more residents and raising standards of living across more of L.A. County’s communities.
The LAEDC launched and currently operates industry councils, which are comprised primarily of firms from these priority industries, to provide a venue for industry leaders to develop and implement a strategic agenda for dealing with issues or exploiting opportunities that negatively or positively, respectively, affect the growth and long-term success of these target industry clusters in L.A. County. LAEDC industry councils include the SoCal Aerospace Council, the e4 Mobility Alliance for our advanced transportation industry cluster, the Bioscience Council and Digital Media & Entertainment (DME) Council.
On the transactional side, the LAEDC launched (2017) a new and exciting program, Business Outlook Labor Demand (BOLD) which works directly with businesses to gather primary research and on-the-ground field information about local firm-level [demand-side] need for skilled workers, along with information regarding talent skills gaps they’re seeing/facing. The BOLD program, already launched with the City of Los Angeles, will better inform educational institutions and workforce development boards, and connect their clients (students, jobseekers, hard-to-place individuals) with local firms so they can find high-value, higher-wage work, as well as help employers find the necessary skilled workers from the local supply of talent. In addition, for over six years, the LAEDC has been leading a Layoff Aversion Program on behalf of the county, which Identifies at risk businesses in unincorporated L.A. County; assesses needs, challenges and opportunities; and develops an action plan of resources, incentives and programs for implementation for business sustainability and to avert layoffs.
LAEDC, in collaboration with stakeholders like you:
- Identifies emerging industry clusters and determining a strategy to meet the workforce demands of these clusters.
- Streamlines business assistance programs and facilitates zoning and permitting processes for those interested in doing business within LA County.
- Provides ongoing regional workforce and business analysis.
- Develops strategies to encourage business relocation to, and business retention in the greater LA County region.
- Identifies commercial vacancies, new development, and redevelopment sites as opportunities for businesses to capitalize on new revenue.
LAEDC has active industry cluster initiatives in aerospace and defense, advanced transportation, biosciences, and digital media & entertainment. These are the industries of greatest focus for LAEDC. To learn more, select an industry cluster from our Industries menu, and engage with LAEDC’s programs and initiatives.