UCLA Labor Center

Ana Luz Gonzalez-Vasquez

Project Director

Dr. Ana Luz Gonzalez Vasquez is the Project Director for POWER in Workforce Development. She has over 20 years of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research and using a participatory and popular education approach to engage research participants in the conceptualization and production of knowledge. In 2006, Dr. Gonzalez Vasquez was the Project Manager for the National Day Labor Project, the first comprehensive study of day laborers and day labor worker centers across the nation––a project that resulted in a dataset that has since produced numerous articles, book chapters and reports that have (1) helped formalize worker centers as a critical actor in economic justice nationwide; and (2) shed light on the workplace conditions of and labor law violations endemic to informal labor markets in the United States.

In 2010, she co-authored a report on the prevalence of wage theft and workplace violations among low-wage workers in Los Angeles, using an innovative methodology called “Respondent-Driven Sampling.” At the Labor Center, she is leading work focused on building a high road economy and prosperity for all through research, education, evaluation, and coalition and movement building. In 2017, in partnership with the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and the UC Berkeley Labor Center, she co-led the development and implementation of the High Road Training Partnership (HRTP) initiative and has co-produced documents on the HRTP framework and model. HRTPs are industry-based, worker-focused training partnerships that build skills for California’s high road employers—firms that compete based on quality achieved through investment in human capital and can thus generate family-supporting jobs where workers have agency and voice. In 2021, she co-authored an evaluation report that assessed HRTP models and she is currently working with CWDB to develop an HRTP framework. Her most recent publication, New Directions in Racial and Economic Justice: How California’s Worker Centers Are Bringing Worker Power into Workforce Development lifts up non-traditional workforce development approaches and organizations focused on effectively improving industry conditions for marginalized workers.

Prior to joining the Labor Center, Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez was the Project Coordinator of the UC Irvine Community and Labor Project. At UCI, she conducted a wage theft study on low-wage workers in Orange County and was a lecturer at the Law School. Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez earned a dual B.A. in Economics and Social Science with a specialization in Public and Community Service and a minor in Spanish from UCI. She earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA.