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Meet Rick Hodge of Entrepreneur Network of Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Hodge.

Rick Hodge, Dean of Workforce Development/CTE at Los Angeles Southwest College is an experienced administrator with more than 28 years of higher education experience in campus management, economic and workforce development, community education, and corporate and business training. Rick has worked in community colleges and universities, both public and private, serving in his 14th year as Dean at Los Angeles Southwest College, Pasadena City College and West Coast University, respectively. He has been the Board Chair of California Corporate College, a State Chancellor’s Office Economic & Workforce Development unit and Board Member of the Foothill Workforce Investment Board in Pasadena. He also served as Executive Director with statewide responsibilities for National University and National Director of Training for University of Phoenix.

Rick specializes in developing CTE and pathway programs in a variety of certificate, credential, and CEU based modalities, particularly in business and healthcare sectors. He spearheaded the inception of an entrepreneur network at three colleges and has been an adjunct faculty at numerous colleges and universities. He has been a former chapter president of the American Society for Training & Development and nominated for Leader of Achievement Award by the Business Press of the Inland Empire.

Rick has developed many unique academic/training programs, including, a Pre-Apprenticeship Training program, a Leadership Academy, a Healthcare Career Ladders program, Business, and Entrepreneurial Services and Training Academy, and a Career Readiness Certification program.

His latest project is The Entrepreneur Network of Los Angeles, where he chairs 12 regional colleges, collaborating on unique efforts to share with aspiring and proactive entrepreneurs skills that will help them navigate through this demanding Gig Economy. Rick is a trail-blazer as a large scale corporate entrepreneur, developing new ideas and opportunities within the education industry, leading to improvement of organizational profitability and enhance competitive position.

During the last two years, 2017-19, Rick’s programs have been the recipient of five awards:
NACCE-National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship
Top College for Entrepreneurship in the Nation Award

A.C.T. – College Readiness Assessment
Top College in California for Career Preparedness Award

LAOCRC – Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortium
PRO-Global Trade & Logistics TEAM Workforce Development Innovation of the Year Award

LAOCRC – Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortium
Regional Collaboration Leader of the Year Award

CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE GOLD & BRONZE STAR Award / Outstanding workforce outcomes

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not a smooth road at all. I had many challenges growing up, with a single parent, growing up in a low economic status home, being an only child trying to figure things out, and facing prejudice and bias as a minority in a very divided and segregated region of the country. Nothing was just given to me; I had to learn how to make a living, go to college, develop confidence, keep focus on my goals, and achieve. In the face of people telling me I would never accomplish anything, that drove me to strive for being the best in my field and the most driven. I love what I do because I was fortunate enough to choose a career that is rewarding, inspiring, and instrumental in showcasing my talents.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The driving force of the Entrepreneur Network of Los Angeles is the promotion of self-empowerment, personal development, and the value of team, all strengthened by one’s role in planning and executing the entrepreneurial vision that meets the global needs of today’s business environment. In this rapidly changing society, an entrepreneurial mindset is about being creative, adaptable, and able to think at higher levels of complexity. California is 5th in the nation for entrepreneurial growth and 2nd for overall entrepreneurial activity. California’s small businesses comprise 98% of all businesses in the state, provide 82% of the private sector jobs, and 75% of the gross state product. California Community Colleges are the largest provider of workforce training in the nation, serving more than 2 million students annually at 115 colleges all across state. More than 200 Career Education programs are taught by instructors and expert professionals, providing hands-on training. The Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortia (LAOCRC) of 28 colleges is powered by the California Community Colleges to invest in innovation, such as highly specialized industry training, technical consulting and a multitude of services that provide job opportunities for our students and community.

The leadership of The Entrepreneur Network of Los Angeles is chaired by Rick Hodge, Dean of CTE/Workforce Development at Los Angeles Southwest College. His team is comprised of a diverse group of entrepreneurs: Jenny Phrasavath-Davidson, CEO of KOJE Enterprises LLC and Co-Founder of Campus Upstart; Tiana Sanchez, CEO of Tiana Sanchez International LLC; Sonia Ramirez, CEO of Sonychelle Media & Communications LLC and Co-Founder of Campus Upstart; Dana Powell, CEO of D Powell Consulting Group LLC; and Damien Danielly, Director of Career Pathways at Los Angeles Southwest College.

One of our successful programs is the Gig2Career (#gig2career) conference series. G2C is an event series that bring together aspiring entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, educators, trainers, coaches, small businesses, designers, entertainers, and all who are classified as a gig economy worker. At G2C participants have the opportunity to connect and discuss ideas with industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs allowing them to expand the network and develop an entrepreneurial mindset knowledge of resources which will guide their entrepreneurial future. We are looking forward to touring our Gig2Career conference series on our campuses and local L.A. hubs.

We plan to expand entrepreneur programs, courses, activities, events, and success stories throughout the 12 colleges that comprise ENETLA and to share useful resources with faculty and students on the entrepreneur mindset. Students and Faculty (with free membership) can receive the Entrepreneur Network newsletter, access and invites to entrepreneur events in the region, and upcoming mixers, roundtables, and free workshops. Community members are encouraged to join the Network and participate in free workshops, events, and enroll in certificate programs designed to enhance their professionalism.

What were you like growing up?
I always had lots of curiosity and loved reading, thinking about creative things, and enjoyed learning. I developed discipline from sports and competitive games. Music has always been an important aspect of my life and I have been self-taught in artistic designs, in public speaking, in researching, and in generating new ideas to implement.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo Credits: Esmeralda Sandavol Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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