ROBERT ZARDENETA has over 20 years experience working with nonprofit organizations with a workforce development, education, sustainability and engagement focus throughout the city and county of Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and the Obama administration recognized his leadership as executive director of LA CAUSA, where he developed green residential rehabilitation projects as part of the United We Serve campaign. Under Robert’s stewardship, youth were trained to conduct outreach and installed PV solar and tank-less water heaters in over 40 homes on the east side of Los Angeles. Robert was also a recipient of the 2010 “Latino Leader of the Green Economy” innovation award by the Congressional Hispanic Congress Institute. NBC Latino named him 1 of 20 Latino Innovators of 2012 and he was recognized as one of Poder Magazine’s Top 100 Green Latinos. His work was also featured in an award-winning book entitled “Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them.” As CEO of CALO, Inc., Robert worked in in partnership with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice and then L.A. County Board Supervisor Hilda Solis to advocate for the allocation of $176.1 million to clean contamination from the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon, CA, which affected roughly 10,000 homes over a 1.7 mile radius. More recently, Robert served as the Deputy Inclusivity Manager for the LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) for the Los Angeles World Airport’s “Automated People Mover” project. In this capacity, he was responsible for the day to day oversight and reporting of the project’s inclusivity efforts, which included small business development, local workforce development as well as K-12 curriculum and STEM programming, among other community-focused initiatives. As Workforce Development Senior Program Administrator for Modern Times, Inc. he serves as a technical advisor on Certified Firms support and Workforce Development efforts on multiple development projects in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. Among them, Los Angeles Metro Purple Line 3 Stations project; LAC+USC Medical Center Facility, King Drew Reuse Project (MLK Medical Campus).
Robert graduated from Garfield High School and earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He was born and raised in East Los Angeles and continues to live and raise his family on the eastside.
The City of Los Angeles’ Green New Deal present a unique chance to bolster community resilience while also creating jobs of the future. To build upon current work, the Mayor’s Office will partner with FUSE Corps to host an Executive Fellow for one year to design and implement a strategy that connects communities, employers, unions, potential workers and training partners in creating direct pathways into specific careers in the climate resiliency space.