UCLA Partners with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to Foster Sustainability Career Development

June 30, 2016

UCLA Students Awarded Internship Stipends to Encourage Students to Pursue Careers in Sustainability

UCLA, through the UCLA Career Center and the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, has partnered with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to pilot an internship stipend program for UCLA students to work with start-up companies in the cleantech sector. Interns work with LACI portfolio companies that will have big environmental, social, and economic impacts in Los Angeles. The mission of LACI and its portfolio companies aligns with UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, which aims to transition Los Angeles County to 100% renewable energy, 100% locally-sourced water, and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050.

Five UCLA undergraduates were recently chosen for summer internships. The students will receive a stipend of $2,000 for part-time internships and $3,000 for full-time internships. Funding was provided by the UCLA Career Center and the UCLA Division of Student Affairs. As part of the summer internship, students receive direction and guidance from the Director of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge and one faculty or researcher mentor. These connections give them an opportunity to discuss careers in sustainability and they gain an understanding of where their internship placement fits with the overall goals of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. Students also submit a final written or multimedia report at the end of their placement.

When asked about the opportunities this pilot program can bring to Los Angeles, Fred Walti, CEO of LACI responded, “We take great pride in offering a unique experience to our interns. Students are surrounded by entrepreneurs focused on creating sustainable technology and products. This amazing cleantech environment is housed in a 60,000 square foot campus complete with a full service prototyping lab. Students have access to the best and the brightest to enhance their education and we’re thrilled to have this partnership with UCLA.”

Mark Gold, UCLA Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability said, “Educating and training the future workforce is an important part of UCLA’s mission. Today’s students will play a key role in developing the cleantech technologies and implementing the policies that will move Los Angeles County to sustainability.”

Wesley Thorne II, Director of the UCLA Career Center, commented, “UCLA students are talented, passionate, and have many diverse skills to offer. Connecting our students with worthwhile work being done through LACI’s start-up companies is a tremendous opportunity and aligns well with the University’s goal of promoting internships.”

While the collaboration is being touted as a pilot program, the Career Center is hoping it will have long-term support as it begins to launch a campus-wide campaign promoting internships.

About the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

LACI is the City of Los Angeles’ official cleantech business incubator, established in 2011 to accelerate the commercialization of clean technology and job creation in the region. LACI was recently ranked #3 on the list of Global Top University Associated Business Incubators for 2015. In four years, the incubator has hosted 50 portfolio companies who have raised over $70 million and created more than 1000 jobs. LACI is headquartered in the La Kretz Innovation campus in downtown Los Angeles, LA’s new cleantech industry hub. The Campus is 60,000 square feet of office space, R&D labs, prototype manufacturing workshops, training centers, and event space. Visit laincubator.org for more information or to schedule a tour.

About the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge

The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge will work towards transitioning Los Angeles County to 100% renewable energy, 100% locally sourced water, and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050, starting with an implementation plan delivered by 2020. In achieving these goals, this program intends to make the region a model for other mega cities nationally and internationally. For information on the Sustainable LA Grand Challenges visit grandchallenges.ucla.edu/sustainable-la

About the UCLA Career Center

The UCLA Career Center empowers undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni to make informed career planning decisions through innovative programs, discipline-specific coaching, and employer connections. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive career centers in the nation and located in the heart of the UCLA campus on Westwood Plaza. For information about the UCLA Career Center, visit career.ucla.edu