The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday it has raised more than $1 million from major employers, universities, and civic organizations to fund a new initiative to bring more high-paying jobs to the county.

The LAEDC also announced it has hired Marianne Haver Hill to head up the multi-pronged effort. Hill previously served as chief executive of Mend (Meet Each Need with Dignity), a nonprofit assisting indigent people by providing services to meet basic needs and programs to move recipients to self-reliance.

As executive director for the LAEDC’s new five-year strategic plan, Hill will work with nonprofit and other organizations throughout the county to boost early childhood development, education/workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship support, foreign direct investment and building more livable communities.

The goal, according to a press release from the LAEDC, is to bring more high-paying jobs to the county. The release notes that over the past decade, the county has lost roughly 90,000 manufacturing jobs paying an average annual wage of $50,000. Those jobs have been replaced by roughly 90,000 service sector jobs, chiefly food services, paying an average annual wage of $20,000.

“This trajectory is simply unsustainable and does not provide adequate economic opportunity for the region’s residents,” the release states.

Among the companies and other institutions funding the effort include Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, Kennedy Wilson, the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, and the county’s five California State University campuses.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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