LABJ Insider: LA Companies’ New Social Responsibility Programs Are Gifts That Keep on Giving

Stephanie Barbaran, Los Angeles Business Journal Interim Editor

Stephanie Barbaran, Los Angeles Business Journal Interim Editor

The gift-giving season is full steam ahead, and thank goodness so are the ports as they’re now aiming to work round the clock to try to unclog their part of the supply chain (more on the ports on page 4).

Holidays are big business, and every day in the fourth quarter can help boost bottom lines that are still in recovery mode. You can get a glimpse into how Halloween pumpkin patches like Mr. Bones in Culver City, for example, are making a comeback this month after taking a dreadful hit from Covid last year (see our spread on page 8).
For some, though, recovery is always a year-round focus, and the holiday season is perfect for shining a light on ways people can give gifts that keep on giving.

Take, for example, the work that local organizations like downtown-based Homeboy Industries and Skid Row Housing Trust are doing to give people a clearer path forward by ensuring they have housing, training and support services. Coverage in the Business Journal’s Philanthropy Special Report starts on page 20.

Or there’s El Segundo-based Mattel Inc., which announced Oct. 14 that it is already close to reaching its goal of using 100% recycled or bio-based materials in its products and packaging by 2030. As part of its focus on sustainability and the company’s impact on communities, Mattel also announced the launch of a reforestation partnership with Washington, D.C.-based American Forests to address tree inequality in Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Also on Oct. 14, downtown-based ASM Global, formerly SMG and AEG Facilities — which manages the world’s largest portfolio of stadiums, arenas, theaters and convention centers — announced the launch of its corporate social responsibility platform, ASM Global Acts, aimed at supporting community philanthropy, sustainability and diversity initiatives, including through educational and career development opportunities, employment programs, food donation programs and charitable efforts tailored to specific communities’ needs. The program will partner with other organizations such as Wounded Warrior Project and Goodwill as well.

“One of the most important things with ASM is the establishment of a foundation to provide work opportunities and give back to local charities to serve underserved youth and beautification projects,” ASM President and Chief Executive Ron Bension said. “Our currency is jobs and opportunity, so we want to utilize that currency in our communities. Each one of our locations will provide scholarships, internships and apprenticeship programs.”

Bension said the program is rolling out at select venues now, including Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, and the L.A. Convention Center won’t be far behind. The program will expand to all ASM locations throughout 2022.

“Our goal is to be that beacon in the community that people know not just for putting on the next best concert or basketball game but for providing services for people in need,” Bension said. “It’s a bold move for us. We’re getting great buy-in from our local teams.”

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