LA County Announces New Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced the appointment of Kelly LoBianco as Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development for the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS).

The appointment of Ms. LoBianco is a critical milestone of the Board of Supervisors’ vision to create a new LA County Department of Economic and Workforce Development by Fall 2022. At that time, LA County will also create a new Department dedicated to aging and disabled adults and community services. These new departments will optimize and align services, ensuring the County is well-positioned to address the economic mobility and security of its residents while meeting the needs of rapidly growing populations of older adults and adults with disabilities.

“I am excited to have Kelly LoBianco join our County Executive Team and look forward to her strong leadership at the new Economic and Workforce Development Department,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Her wealth of knowledge and experience in economic and workforce development, which I championed, will be instrumental in the County’s recovery and our pursuit of social advancement and economic equities for all workers, businesses, and communities.”

“I am thrilled at the appointment of Kelly LoBianco to lead our County’s Economic and Workforce Development Department and to help strengthen our efforts for an equitable recovery from this dual public health and economic pandemic,” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “Kelly brings a wealth of direct experience in placing those with the greatest barriers to employment in career pathways with upward mobility and family sustaining wages, as well as developing a supportive ecosystem for our small employers and family-owned businesses. I look forward to working alongside Ms. LoBianco to help actualize a more inclusive Los Angeles County economy for all.”

“The County is establishing a new department to focus on workforce and economic development needs because work is a crucial part of a person’s independence, dignity and sense of purpose,” said LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “We have found the perfect person to serve as the Department’s first leader, Kelly LoBianco, who has dedicated her career to developing the programs and policies we want to see expanded in LA County.”

“As we emerge from this pandemic, we have an opportunity to rebuild our local economy in a way that respects our workers, brings opportunity to communities, and works for everyone,” said Supervisor Hahn. “We need to connect people, not only to training and apprenticeship programs, but directly to good-paying jobs in industries that need workers. The Economic and Workforce Development Department that we are creating, under the new leadership of Kelly LoBianco, is going to be at the center of this important effort.”

“I look forward to Kelly LoBianco serving as Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “This new role will help establish a vision for prosperity and renewed economic development in Los Angeles County.”

“I’m excited to partner with Kelly LoBianco to uplift workers and local businesses so that we can build vibrant, thriving communities,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS.

“Thank you to the Board of Supervisors for entrusting me with the responsibility as the Executive Director for Economic and Workforce Development,” said Kelly LoBianco. “This new department will be uniquely positioned to center equity of opportunity by aligning our economic and workforce development efforts in order to help businesses start and grow, connect workers to quality jobs, strengthen and uplift communities, and expand a dynamic and sustainable local economy. The work will not be easy and the pandemic puts a spotlight on the challenges we face. But I look forward to leading this important work with a skilled and experienced team, in addition to collaborating with leaders across the region, to ensure all workers and businesses in the nation’s largest and most diverse county have everything they need to succeed.”

Ms. LoBianco will oversee the newly created Economic and Workforce Development Branch under the WDACS umbrella. This new branch unites services previously performed by four different agencies within the County, including workforce development, strategic economic development and advocacy, and small business assistance and growth. As Executive Director, Ms. LoBianco will play a central role in the County’s equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. LoBianco has over 15 years of public sector experience at the federal, state, and local levels. Prior to joining LA County, she served as the Chief Program Officer for the HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx in New York City. She previously held executive roles with the New York City Department of Small Business Services, including Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director of Training and Sector Initiatives for the Workforce Development Division.

The appointment of the Executive Director is the latest in a series of key actions the County is taking in response to motions from the Board of Supervisors to create these two new departments.

In June 2021, the County established a team to develop and lead the phased approach to creating these two new departments by Fall 2022. As part of this transition, this team is engaging all impacted departments and County commissions, overseeing resolution of all administrative and funding issues necessary to establish the new departments, and is leading internal and external communications efforts.