As part of the SELA Initiative, Beacon Economics prepared the “Central 710 Freeway Corridor—An Asset Based Analysis” in 2017. The report provides an inventory of the assets—particularly human assets, housing assets, business assets, and transportation assets—throughout SELA (Southeast Los Angeles County). While the area is both culturally and economically distinct, it is also politically fragmented. By expanding the focus beyond specific municipalities and communities, the report offers a fresh perspective on the assets that can be leveraged in local efforts toward collective initiatives.
- SELA’s population has rapidly expanded in recent years, as strong inbound migration and high birth rates have reshaped the local demographic.
- In 2014, 30.6% of SELA residents were under the age of 18, compared to 23.5% in Los Angeles County.
- The overwhelming majority of Census respondents identified as Hispanic or Latino (88.1%), while the remainder of respondents identified as African American (8.4%), White (2.0%), Asian (0.8%), and Other (0.6%).
- Younger generations are closing the gap between the County and SELA in educational attainment.
- SELA is home to a large number of families, with 46.4% of households including members under the age of 18. As such, local households are roughly 1.4 times the size of households in the county, on average
- Homeownership rates are relatively low, at 39%, due in part to relatively low incomes and large numbers of young adults who rent in the population.
- Real median household incomes rose dramatically to $43,708 in 2015, representing 9% year-to-year growth.
- Establishments in SELA are diverse, with no single industry making up more than one-fifth of all establishments in 2014.
- Approximately 94% of all establishments in SELA are small and medium sized, employing 50 workers or fewer.
- Some of the largest local employers are major manufacturers, card clubs, and grocers.
- SELA is largely a bedroom community, where nine of 10 workers worked outside of the city or census designated place in which they resided.
- SELA commuters carpooled and utilized public transportation at higher rates than commuters in the County.
- Even with extensive inter-city travel, the mean travel time to work was slightly lower than the County average at 29.1 minutes.
At our 2016 SELA Summit of Possibilities, Beacon Economics presented their findings. Attendees provided their impressions of the research, as they discussed and responded to three questions during breakout sessions.
Question #1: How can SELA foster opportunities through its economic assets?
- “The key is coalition building and making connections across issues and geographies that emphasize regional importance and strength.”
- “Encourage entrepreneurship and develop incentives and systems to empower small, local businesses to create opportunities for individuals.”
Question #2: What elements are needed in order to move toward success?
- “Better access to education, light rail, and justice.”
- “More support for non-profit infrastructure in the region and the ability to hold more of these convenings as well as public forums to hear more community voices.”
Question #3: Based on the findings, how do we create opportunities for youth?
- “Identify key emerging industries and start connecting with them on possibilities for youth training programs, and work opportunities.”
- “We need to engage youth and listen to youth about what they want and need.”