Organization Overview



Organization Type

  • Direct Service
  • Resource Center

Issue Areas

  • Career Development
  • Workforce Assistance
  • Business Development
  • Rapid Response Services


The Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative is a network of organizations working together to strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector and increase civic engagement in Southeast LA. Founded in 2011 by eleven core organizations, the Collaborative seeks to revitalize the communities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Florence-Firestone, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood, South Gate, Vernon, and Walnut Park.

Our “Collaborative Spotlight” series highlights the work and impact of our individual Collaborative members, each of whom have a long history of providing service to the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) region and advocating for its community members. In today’s post, we highlight the work and impact of Hub Cities Career Center.

Economic Challenges and Assets in Southeast Los Angeles

Among the challenges the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) region has faced in recent decades, one that stands prominently is the lack of economic development and mobility in our communities. As outlined in our Southeast L.A. asset mapping report, the Southeast Los Angeles region has faced high unemployment in its recent history, owing to a variety of factors. Overall, this challenge is tied to the current characteristics of the region: for example, part of the high unemployment rate can be attributed to the younger population in our communities, which is more vulnerable to layoffs due to their relative lack of experience. Another key factor is the region’s reliance on industrial and service industries, which afford few opportunities for residents to progress to higher-paying positions. Similarly, the high number of small businesses means there is a lack of more established organizations that can provide opportunities for economic mobility to local workers.

Undoubtedly, there are significant challenges facing Southeast L.A. as it pertains to its economy and business landscape. But within every challenge, there is the potential for progress and growth, especially in regards to SELA’s younger population. Younger residents in SELA are attending higher education institutions at higher rates than their parents did, which means it’s likely these younger residents will be the first in their families to enter workforce sectors involving management, business, science, and the arts. As younger generations deliver on the promise of a better life that brought their parents to their region, they are poised to introduce new industries and businesses to Southeast Los Angeles. And as members of the current workforce look for opportunities to achieve economic development, they will bring increased prosperity to industries that have an established history in the area. Both of these trends predict a bright economic future for SELA, but that prosperity cannot come to pass without help from key community leaders and organizations. There is a strong need in Southeast L.A. for organizations and nonprofits that can provide guidance to new and current residents who are entering the modern workforce.

Building Business Capacity in SELA

For many SELA community members, there is one organization that quickly comes to mind when it comes to career development and workforce assistance: Hub Cities Career Center, today’s highlighted Collaborative member. Based in Huntington Park, California, Hub Cities was founded in 1988 as the primary public job training and placement center for residents of the cities of Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood, Cudahy, Maywood and Bell Gardens. For nearly 30 years, Hub Cities has served as a community pillar in Southeast Los Angeles for residents seeking career assistance and employment-related services. With a focus on services that assist both job seekers and employers, Hub Cities offers an all-encompassing range of career and workforce programs, including job search assistance, recruitment and outreach, career counseling, and vocational training. They also offer business needs assessments, a key service that helps companies in the region grow and bring more work opportunities to our communities.

More than a workforce and career center, Hub Cities is also a force for social change in the Southeast Los Angeles region. Through career-assistance programs tailored for youth who are on probation, homeless, or living in low-income homes, Hub Cities empowers and informs some of Southeast L.A.’s most vulnerable community members. Complementing this important social change work, Hub Cities also serves as an informational center for the region, housing resource centers with computers that residents can use to access job listings, career information, and training resources. Through its range of programs and services, Hub Cities is increasing the knowledge and capacity of businesses, nonprofits, and community members in the SELA region and preparing residents to enter the modern workforce and capitalize on the opportunities awaiting them. This commitment to both economic and social empowerment has made Hub Cities a household name in Southeast L.A.


Working Towards a Shared Vision of Southeast L.A.

Hub Cities’ programs and services are actively playing a role in promoting economic development and prosperity in the SELA region. For Executive Director Joe Martinez, who has spent years studying and analyzing the workforce and business trends in the SELA region, joining the SELA Collaborative was a natural extension of Hub Cities’ mission to empower the Southeast Los Angeles community. “As an organization, our goals and values are strongly aligned with the Collaborative’s vision to inform and empower the SELA region,” he says. “We’ve been serving these communities for many years, so it’s been great to join the Collaborative and work in partnership with other like-minded organizations.”

As a member of the Collaborative, Hub Cities contributes knowledge and experience gained from nearly 30 years of serving the SELA community. This long history of serving the region has allowed Hub Cities to develop a nuanced understanding of both the assets and challenges facing SELA. Mr. Martinez shares this experience and knowledge by representing Hub Cities in various Collaborative committees, serving as a key voice in matters pertaining to nonprofit capacity. Hub Cities has also contributed its expertise by leading several projects for the Collaborative, including our forthcoming Nonprofit Needs Assessment, which will provide an overview of the state of the nonprofit sector in SELA. Hub Cities’ leadership on key projects and their expertise have provided critical insights that have helped the Collaborative chart a path to the future. “Ultimately, our vision is one and the same: a thriving SELA region where residents can prosper and take full advantage of the opportunities available to them,” says Mr. Martinez.

As we approach the beginning of a new decade, it’s clear that the SELA region in a key historical turning point in more ways than one. “What we are seeing is the culmination of trends that have been taking shape over decades,” says Mr. Martinez. “Our residents are incredibly hard working and intelligent, and thanks to the growth of new and existing industries in the region, I believe we are in the cusp of an era of high economic development.” Undoubtedly, nonprofits will play a key role in ushering in this era of economic prosperity, as residents will need help navigating this new, modern work landscape in SELA. And thanks to committed and experienced organizations such as Hub Cities, they will have a helping hand to turn to for support. “We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and we look forward to continuing to bring resources and assistance to the SELA community as they move forward to achieve their goals,” Mr. Martinez adds. “We’re excited for the future – of the SELA region, our organization, and the SELA Collaborative.”–

Hub Cities Delegate in the SELA Collaborative


Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez

Executive Director/CEO

Learn More About Hub Cities

Are you interested in learning more about the services and programs Hub Cities provides? Check out their job seeker services and business services pages for full details on all the programs mentioned in this profile. If you’d like to contact the Hub Cities team, you can do so via their contact page.

Connect with Hub Cities