Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation Receives IRS Determination, Announces Board Members, Officers and Executive Director

Foundation’s mission is to support work-based learning opportunities for young people in the greater Pasadena area and support others in their acquisition of skills necessary for meaningful employment and career advancement

Published : Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | 6:02 AM

Ishmael Trone, founding president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation (left) and Paul Little, President and CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Ishmael Trone, founding president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation (left) and Paul Little, President and CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Ishmael Trone, founding president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation, announced today that the Internal Revenue Service has determined the new work-based learning and employment support organization qualifies as a 501c3 charitable organization, eligible to accept tax-deductible donations and grants.

“I am very excited at the opportunities the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation offers for young people and employer stakeholders in our community,” Mr. Trone said. “To have an organization in place to connect our local business community with students in our schools provides the missing link to continued growth and expansion of current collaborative efforts. Additionally, the Foundation will support the ongoing business development training of incumbent employees and job seekers so that our local economy and businesses continue to grow and prosper”.

Mr. Trone also announced the founding Board of Directors and Officers of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Mr. Trone, principle of F&M Business Center, Unyque Financial Realty and co-founder of Ideal Youth, serves as president. Patricia (Patty) Waggoner, recently retired Vice President of Amalgamated Bank, serves as Secretary. Salomon Davila, work-based learning consultant with the California Community College System serves as Treasurer. George Falardeau, CEO of Pasadena Media and retired vice president of Real Estate at Art Center College of Design serves as Director.

Mr. Trone also announced that Paul Little, while remaining president and chief executive officer of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association, will serve as the founding executive director of the Foundation.

“The mission of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation is to develop in our business community excitement for supporting the educational, workforce development and work-based learning opportunities for youth in our area. The Foundation will support educational programs such as financial literacy training for PUSD 6th graders and work-based learning opportunities for high school and college students,” Mr. Little commented. “The Foundation will also support training for others seeking employment or professional advancement.”

Over the past three summers, as a collaboration between the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association, juniors and seniors in high school have interned with local companies, such as Kaiser Permanente, Vroman’s Bookstore, Ronald McDonald House, Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union, Huntington Hospital, The Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer and Health Advantage Physical Medicine. Some student interns have gone on to employment with their host company.

Dozens of local business people and entrepreneurs have spent time with students in PUSD career academy classrooms discussing careers, assisting with resume writing, practicing interview skills and supporting classroom education.

The career academy students have been offered field trips to local business and organizations, such as the Hilton Hotel, the County Courthouse, The City of Pasadena, Google and Disneyland. Teachers have been able to visit local companies, such as Honeybee Robotics and, to experience the current work environment and see what skills are required in the 21st century workplace.

The Pasadena Chamber’s Workforce Development efforts support the Health Careers Academy at Blair High School, the Law and Public Service and APP Academy at Pasadena High School, the Engineering and Environmental Science Academy and Business and Entrepreneurship Academy at Muir High School. The Chamber also works with the CEO Academy at Rose City High School.

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