Mayor Eric Garcetti tapped the best and the brightest to head up the City’s new Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) beginning July 1, 2013. Jan Perry possesses the energy, enthusiasm and dedication and a record of accomplishments that make her a standout as General Manager of the department. As the former Los Angeles City Councilmember for the 9th District, which includes Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles, she was a lightning rod for major changes in the district’s infrastructure. This resulted in quality job development and training, and the development of housing at all income levels.
Over the past decade, Perry supported major redevelopment projects in Downtown Los Angeles that represented more than $15 billion in investment along with $40 million in City tax revenue, and the creation of more than 90,000 full-time jobs. From catalytic developments like LA Live to iconic developments like Our Lady of Angeles Cathedral to major public buildings like the new Police Administrative Building—Perry was at the forefront of ensuring that downtown moved forward to meet its potential as the economic engine for the entire region.
Her record of success led Mayor Garcetti to appoint Ms. Perry for the new role of leading an economic development rebirth of Los Angeles. Perry, along with the Mayor, shares a passion for revitalizing neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for all Angelenos.
In her new position, Ms. Perry will lead a department of approximately 175 individuals, some of whom are well entrenched in economic development, charged with brokering city loans, and bonds. On the workforce side, the Department oversees 18 WorkSource Centers that offer specialized training, resume development, a job bank and a number of career development services. Her success will build on the notion that economic development and employment stimulates growth in a city, a solid tax base, a demand for better housing, goods and services and better schools, parks and solid neighborhoods. This is the type of community where businesses want to locate. It is the cycle of community improvement rather than community despair.
Looking back on her accomplishments, Ms. Perry was all too familiar with the despair of the homeless because high poverty and homelessness made up large swaths of her former Council District. She understood that tackling the challenges of homelessness was an essential part of creating a healthy city for everyone. A champion for the homeless, she successfully kept the city’s emergency shelter program open on a year-round basis and was a strong advocate for the development of affordable housing with supportive services to house chronically homeless individuals, many who had been homeless for decades. The unwavering political will that she exhibited on the issue of housing the homeless resulted in the development of more than 1,000 units of housing with support services on-site, and more were in the pipeline when she left office on June 30, 2013.
Perry earned her bachelor’s degree from the USC School of Journalism, cum laude, and her master’s degree from USC in public administration.