State and Local Government
California, United States
Number of Employees
38 departments countywide
Los Angeles County Supports 100K Employees with Scalable Online Learning for D&I and Career Development
Udemy driving business outcomes
Case study details
The County of Los Angeles is the largest county government agency in the United States and covers a quarter of California’s population. LA County employs over 100,000 workers and consists of 38 departments — ranging from arts & culture and public safety to agriculture weights & measures and healthcare.
With such a vast workforce, LA County faces the challenge of ensuring its workforce has access to the right modern L&D resources. That’s why the organization enlisted the help of Udemy Business. The platform now helps LA County’s employees drive their career development and stay on top of one of the organization’s critical D&I initiatives.
Driving career development and D&I at scale
Established in 1850, Los Angeles County is the largest county government agency in the United States and serves 10 million residents. Its HR department provides a full array of professional HR services, including succession planning, executive recruitment, regulatory compliance, occupational health and wellness services, employee benefits, and much more!
With an organization-wide commitment to employee career development and support, the County’s Workforce and Employee Development team (WED) uses centralized learning and organizational development programs to enhance employee performance and growth through online learning and instructor-led courses. It also uses the programs to support succession and workforce planning, leadership development, diversity & inclusion (D&I) initiatives, career planning, performance management, and workforce metrics and analytics.
WED programs were helping LA County achieve strategic goals, but the programs also needed to evolve in response to directives from the County’s Board of Supervisors.
Specifically, a board motion to reduce gender bias meant that LA County’s HR team needed to quickly scale its training without having to develop its own course material. Developing the course internally would have meant interrupting other critical programs to free up precious internal resources — costing nearly $87,000 in unnecessary expenditure.
LA County’s D&I goals provide the framework for an organizational culture of respect and fairness while building structural equity that safeguards its employees, contractors, and constituents. “Educating our large workforce on areas such as gender bias and institutional racism is integral to ensuring we meet our next-level D&I values. We needed additional high-quality training resources to propel us forward,” says Tina Curry, HR Principal Analyst at Los Angeles County.
With limited resources and a short timeframe in which to use a $1.5M training grant, LA County needed an online learning solution that could be quickly accessed by thousands of employees to help achieve its high-profile D&I goals.
HR Principal Analyst at Los Angeles County
Easily accessible content for 100K office-based, hybrid and remote workers
After establishing its needs, the L&D team evaluated leading online learning platforms but found that only Udemy Business offered the specific gender bias course — Tackling Gender Bias in the Workplace — it needed to meet its requirements.
With access to that course and others in Udemy Business’ bank of 14,000+ courses, LA County could support its anti-racism Board motion, and its employees were able to complete its gender bias training during the goal time frame.
In supporting its initiative, LA County’s employees have completed a wide range of D&I-related courses, including:
- Navigate and Respect Age
- Ethnic and Racial Differences
- Psychology of Diversity and Unconscious Bias
- Unconscious Bias: Fuel Diversity and Become a Better You
LA County also uses the platform’s on-demand skill-building content to advance learning across its departments.
“Udemy Business’ abundant course offerings enable employees, supervisors, and managers to build tailored learning plans,” says Marc Shartzer, HR Principal Analyst at Los Angeles County. “These individualized plans help our workforce improve service delivery at multiple levels and in different areas of the organization. Udemy’s robust and expanding bank of courses means that there is a course for everyone.”
LA County curated Udemy Business courses to equip employees with core remote productivity skills in virtual conferencing and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, and Skype. And as Marc explains, “With Udemy Business courses on work-life balance and stress management, we were able to offer meaningful resources during challenging times.”
Managers have benefited from remote L&D skill-building, too. To help them transition to remote working, senior team members now have access to critical soft skill courses — such as How to Manage and Influence Your Virtual Team and Leading Virtual Teams – A Quick Course — giving them the confidence and techniques to lead remote teams.
HR Principal Analyst at Los Angeles County
Continuous upskilling in the latest technologies
And it’s not just soft skills where LA County stands to benefit. The organization also uses Udemy Business to empower its IT personnel, helping them regularly upskill and keep pace with ever-changing technology developments.
“Udemy Business is instrumental in helping us meet our tremendous need for IT program training and certification prep,” says Marc. “Its extensive IT course collection is a great resource to develop employees to successfully accomplish new IT projects, propel IT employees to explore new areas of the IT practice, and encourage employees seeking a career change to explore IT as a career option. For example, our employees use the platform’s boot camp courses — they’re very helpful for both experienced IT employees who want a deep understanding of a topic as well as employees seeking to ready themselves for a transition into an IT role.”
Adding to efficiency, LA County has integrated Udemy Business with its Cornerstone talent management platform to offer employees professional development options combined with mandatory compliance training in one platform. The upshot is it’s now far easier for LA County to track and manage learner progress while also making it more accessible to the workforce.
Record-breaking achievements — with endless opportunities
Finding cost-effective ways to continuously upskill its employees for current and future challenges, while also boosting organizational efficiency, has been crucial for LA County to achieve its goals.
LA County employees have completed over 500,000 courses. What’s more, LA County has achieved over 1.7 million hours of online learning using Udemy Business — making it one of the biggest users of the platform in the world. “With Udemy, we can now provide our 100,000 employees with faster access to on-demand content delivered by the platform’s 14,000+ wide-ranging hard- and soft-skill courses,” says Rodney Collins, Assistant Human Resources Director. “Udemy has been a very cost-effective approach to upskill our workforce.”
Workforce Perspective on Using Udemy
[>] Employees felt more
- Engaged at work (92.9%)
- Confident (95%)
- Productive (93.8%)
[>] Supervisors saw increases in their employees’
- Engagement (90.0%)
- Ability to work well with others (91.2%)
- Knowledge and skills (92.8%)
- Quality of work (90.1%)
- Productivity (87.8%)
HR Principal Analyst at Los Angeles County
Building on success across LA County
As LA County looks to the future, it is innovating how Udemy is leveraged to engage employees in learning conversations. WED has launched a new approach to learning called the Learning Exchange (LearnX).
“Our LearnX Program brings together employees who may have never worked together to discuss a specific Udemy course and discuss how the course content is applied in their operation,” says Marc. “These dynamic, facilitated, conversations have been well received and bump up the Udemy learning through stories and on-the-spot advisement from other LearnX participants. It provides a shared community to learn and explore the challenges that occur in other departments and how Udemy’s course provides answers.” LearnX is gaining in popularity and has increased LA County’s use of Udemy.
LA County has also enhanced its in-house content creation via a recording studio and added more instructional designers. With the studio and more staff, the organization can focus on creating unique LA County content while leveraging Udemy Business for a wide array of skill and technical content.
Rodney has some words of advice for introducing a new online learning platform: “Ready the organization by driving learning culture initiatives, obtaining tangible buy-in from executives and upper management, and building broad awareness and enthusiasm at every level.”
“It’s also a good idea to conduct a feasibility assessment for making online learning such a large part of the organization’s L&D delivery. This means partnering with IT early in the process to explore how you can get the most from a new learning platform,” adds Marc.
HR Principal Analyst at Los Angeles County.
Assistant Human Resources Director at Los Angeles County