The L.A. Times’s New Jobs Pilot Program

‘L.A. in Crisis’: How to watch the town hall hosted by the L.A. Times and Fox 11

When the LA Times and Fox 11 came to L.A. this week to help kick-start the state government’s new jobs program, I was there to document the event for the Times blog. The event, hosted by the Times and Fox 11’s Alex Berenson, was supposed to showcase an exciting new initiative — a pilot program that will connect employers and job-seekers with resources to create green jobs, while also creating new opportunities for small business. The program, which will kick off its first phase in the summer of 2014, is the result of some of the most significant change in state government in a generation, led by an energetic new governor.

In many ways the pilot program is a perfect opportunity to see the new political alignment that exists within L.A. — a city that, according to Gallup, has a greater concentration of registered Democrats than New York and a greater concentration of independents than New Jersey. The new governor wants to expand the tax base for the middle class, create jobs, and make sure that residents have opportunities to move up a rung in American society. But there are also a number of conservative values that the mayor shared with the Times editorial board audience — among them, the importance of the city’s history of being a haven for immigrants.

(MORE: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Takes Aim at Occupy L.A. Protesters)

The most interesting thing about the job pilot is that not everyone sees it as a pilot program to be pilot tested for the future. For many people, it’s the first time the L.A. Times is coming to town to cover city government, so in many ways it’s the first time they have been given a chance to fully see what the newspaper will be doing in the city over the next two years. The pilot program is, in many ways, an opportunity for the L.A. Times to step into both the political and cultural vacuum the city has become. It also serves as a test for the L.A. Times, if nothing else.

To better understand the pilot program, let’s start with something that could be described as the biggest change in government in this city in a generation: a new

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