PACE Founder Kerry Doi and the groundbreaking for PACE Affordable Housing

The Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment was founded in 1976 to address the employment and job training needs of the Asian Pacific Islander communities. With an initial grant from the City of Los Angeles, PACE was created to offer job training and job placement services to the Los Angeles community.

In subsequent years, as its program and management experience broadened, the agency realized that the most fundamental needs of these communities could not be adequately addressed simply through the provision of job training and employment services alone. PACE thus sought to broaden its services and job creation programs and expand its outreach into the San Gabriel Valley and the South Bay areas of Southern California. 

PACE continued to grow, adjusting to shifts in the political and economic landscapes of Los Angeles. After its first decade an office was opened to serve the San Gabriel Valley, and a new Handy Worker program became PACE’s first for-profit-subsidiary.

One of PACE’s most notable and successful innovations, begun in its second decade, the Business Development Center, was inspired by the needs of minority business owners after Los Angeles’ 1992 civil unrest. While PACE began as an organization to serve low income APIs, PACE clients today reflect the increasing ethnic diversity of our target areas. PACE is recognized as a leader in addressing problems of poverty and economic inequity in minority, ethnic and immigrant communities. PACE has a reputation of being responsive to community needs and is known for creating innovative solutions to the myriad of challenges faced by our clients.

Our Timeline

1975
Founding
Recognizing a lack of culturally and linguistically competent services for Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) living in Los Angeles, 26 year old activist Kerry Doi founds PACE in partnership with other API leaders working in the community
1975
1976
Workforce Development
With an initial grant from the City of Los Angeles and a staff of six, PACE begins providing job training and job placement services to 100 individuals in the first year
1976
1978
Handyworker Program
As part of its workforce development effort, PACE develops a Handyworker Home Repair Program which trains under-and unemployed individuals to provide free home repairs for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners
1978
1980
Early Childhood Education
Seeing a need for low-income workers to have access to high quality, low-cost childcare, PACE opens its first Head Start preschool with a grant from the Los Angeles County Office of Education
1980
1981
Energy & Environmental Services
Given its success providing job training and placement services to Los Angeles' growing API community, PACE begins offering pre-apprenticeship programs within the construction field and soon after, is contracted by the State of California to provide home weatherization services to low-income homeowners
1981
1984
Affordable Housing
PACE builds its first affordable housing units to provide economic relief to the "housing burdened" residents of Central Los Angeles
1984
1993
Business Development
In the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, PACE responds to the needs of minority small business owners who are faced with rebuilding damaged or lost businesses by helping them apply for over $10 million in Disaster Loans
1993
2004
Work Opportunities
PACE expands its employment assistance services by participating in LA County's Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) Program and providing job training to Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) participants and other unemployed individuals
2004