Los Angeles is hosting the summer Olympics in 2028, and the event is already bringing new and increased opportunities for global trade. Ruth Amanuel, the new Global Trade Regional Director in the Los Angeles Region, wants to make sure the colleges in her region are poised to take full advantage of those opportunities.
Earlier this summer, she took a group of 10 faculty members and community college leaders to the Select LA Investment Summit, which brought together government and business leaders to discuss the Olympics and other foreign investment opportunities for California’s most populated region. In addition, five community college students volunteered at the event which was organized by the World Trade Center of Los Angeles, an organization that Amanuel hopes to partner with moving forward.
“I am hoping that organizations like the World Trade Center will be strategic partners with us to help provide insight into different foreign firms operating in Southern California,” Amanuel said. “We’re hoping to do more events in collaboration with businesses to highlight the impact of global trade in our region. Other partners include the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), LA Area Chamber and industry associations to which I belong.”
Amanuel has additional professional development opportunities planned this year for interested faculty and career pathway specialists. This fall she hopes to take faculty to GetGlobal, an international conference hosted in Long Beach that will feature a special session devoted to education. “Events like these will allow community college educators to engage with industry directly,” Amanuel said.
Amanuel previously worked as an International Trade Specialist for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and served as an independent consultant to the Center for International Trade Development and community outreach for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Hundreds of foreign companies operate in Los Angeles County and with the two largest ports and airport in the nation, LA is the hub for global trade. Amanuel hopes to expose students to career pathways and internships in the sector while connecting companies to the vast talent pool available at the community colleges. She was part of the team that launched the remote internship model led by Statewide Director, Leah Goold-Haws in Los Angeles and San Diego. In the summer, students at Long Beach City College worked with two Los Angeles-based ecommerce companies on global digital marketing projects including crafting social media strategy and deploying Google analytics for real life clients.
“A lot of the smaller businesses don’t have the bandwidth to implement a global ecommerce strategy nor do they have the resources to manage interns,” Amanuel said. “Through this virtual internship program students can put in practice what they are learning in the classroom, and it will be a win-win for the businesses and the community colleges.”
In addition to professional development opportunities and internships, Amanuel is devoting time to research. “I am working on a regional sector profile that looks at the employment impact of global trade in the region and also doing a regional scan of the community college programs to identify gaps and opportunities, and most importantly, career pathway for students,” she said.