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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Michelle Grimes-Hillman, Long Beach City College

Incorporating census and labor-market data into interactive dashboards

The Challenge

Long Beach is one of the most diverse communities in the state despite its small geographic area. The adult education planning process required that the LBAEC set goals based on the character and composition of our community. The diversity of the LBAEC’s members and community partners meant LBAEC needed to come to a consensus as to which populations and program areas have the highest need. This creates a unique challenge for the consortium that ultimately required us to find commonalities in the needs and goals of the target communities, and prioritize which programs can serve multiple communities while still addressing each community partner's unique needs.

The Solution

LBAEC planning meetings began with a review of an interactive dashboard of the Los Angeles-Orange County area’s census data with particular emphasis on English learners, those without a high school diploma and adults with disabilities. The attendees were asked to list their assumptions about the demographics while slowly breaking down those assumptions through the dashboard. The partners were able to quickly highlight areas of high need and match them to where the consortium was providing services. In subsequent iterations, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness utilized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map where the majority of LBAEC’s noncredit enrollment lives, the region’s poorest and most disenfranchised neighborhoods.


LBAEC completed its three-year plan ahead of schedule and with the full corporation and participation of Long Beach City College, Long Beach School for Adults and community partners. The community partners included American Indian Changing Spirits, Cal State Long Beach - Educational Opportunity Center, Centro CHA, Century Villages at Cabrillo, Conservation Corps of Long Beach, Disabled Resources Center, Long Beach Job Corps, Long Beach Public Library, Pacific Gateway - Workforce Innovation Network, Salvation Army of Long Beach, United Cambodian Community, and the YMCA Community School. The dashboard was subsequently published online for all consortia members, community partners and regional colleges to use.

The Data

The data was collected from 2017 estimates of the American Community Survey. Additional labor-market information was collected from Long Beach City College’s instance of the Economic Modeling Systems Inc. platform (EMSI).

Special thanks go to Tim Smith, LBCC Research Analyst for his work on this project.

Supporting Information

Supporting documentation

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