The mission of Elite Skills Development (ESD) is to provide programming and resources to youth, adults, organizations, and small businesses in order to create pathways to self-sustainability and build healthy, productive communities.
Elite Skills Development began in 1999 as Ladies First, a collective of mothers who were interested in developing and mentoring their daughters and other African American girls in Long Beach. In 2010, Ladies First transitioned to Elite Skills Development to create pathways to self-sustainability and business ownership.
Black Resource Center (BRC)
The Black Resource Center (BRC), a program of Elite Skills, is a one-stop-shop for the Black and African American community to access information related to small business support, mental and physical health, financial literacy, youth and senior programs, COVID resources, rent and utility assistance, entrepreneurship, personal and career development.
The first half of the 20th century shaped Black Americans’ identity and influence on the United States. In reaction to racist actions and laws in that period, Long Beach’s Central Area Black neighborhood provided a sense of belonging, serving as a space not only to garner wealth, but also to celebrate Black culture in a unique and authentic way. During this time, a Black cultural identity began to emerge, but Black Americans were still significantly affected by key events such as redlining, segregation and desegregation, and the assassinations of key Civil Rights leaders. These events impacted individual livelihoods and the fate of these neighborhoods.
The history of our Central Area neighborhood has often been hidden and not fully recognized. As a way of honoring Black excellence and our full rich history, the Black community is committed to honoring the heritage of our neighborhood where African American businesses flourished, our churches provided hope and support and Black economic self-empowerment was the norm.
Black Equity Initiative
The mission of the Black Equity Initiative is to join communities and funders as partners in strengthening the long-term sustainability of Black-led and Black-empowering nonprofits, businesses and organizations in Long Beach. To facilitate this collective network Elite Skills has created the Black Resource Center.
The collective network solely dedicated to organizing and empowering our Black voice, investing in Black leadership and empowering Black-led organizations.
Elite Skills Development was incorporated in 2010 and is a federal 501 (c) (3) non-profit, public benefit corporation.
Black Resource Center -
1135 Rhea Street (Central Facilities Center @ MLK Park)
Phone: 562 570-4400
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9:00am to 4:00pm
Elite Skills Office & Training Center
3515 Linden Avenue #56, Long Beach, CA 90807
Phone: 562 739-5276
Connecting the Dots
Black Resource Center (BRC)
We help entrepreneurs to start, manage, and grow their businesses.
Connecting & planning for the future
Make decisions and set goals, keep motivated and focused on her goals.
Improve in school.
Nurture her confidence, self‐esteem and mental health.
Listen to her and help her solve her problems.
Introduce her to new ideas, activities, and opportunities.
Prepare her for college or other training.
Explore career possibilities.
Meet successful people.
Launch delayed due to COVID-19, Coming in 2021
Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The innovative Young Entrepreneurs Academy was scheduled to begin programming in January, 2020 but was delayed due to COVID-19 crisis.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting after-school program that transforms local middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Through the six-month program, students in grades 5-8 work closely with local business leaders to cultivate and research business ideas, write business plans, and more!