Fellowship Openings

Planning for the Service Needs of a Growing Aging Population

Project: Planning for the Service Needs of a Growing Aging Population

Agency: Los Angeles County

Location: Los Angeles County


Home to Hollywood and a magnet for the young, Los Angeles County has another lesser known side.  As the nation’s most populous county, its older adult population is already larger than the older adult population in 41 states, and is expected to nearly double to over two million by 2030, or more than 18 percent of the total population.  This wave of demographic change prompted local leaders to set in motion a program called Purposeful Aging Los Angeles (PALA), an effort to prepare the region for the myriad challenges of an aging population.

Over the past two years, working with public and private leadership, resources and strategies, PALA has distilled its work into an action plan based on 34 recommendations designed to improve the lives of older adults. Recently approved by the County, the Age-Friendly Action Plan directs LA County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) to develop a strategy for the implementation of these recommendations over the next three years. To meet its directive, WDACS will need a five-year strategic plan of its own, starting with a comprehensive gap analysis of its services, followed by a budget analysis of existing funding sources, with recommendations for cost savings and additional funding to cover new initiatives or enhanced services. For example, the demand for meal-delivery service to homebound elderly already exceeds capacity, forcing people onto waiting lists. Also, the need for respite care outstrips its allocated budget, causing hardship for both caretakers and those in need of care. The demands for these services will only grow and require an adequate response. WDACS is embracing these challenges, and plans to use its services assessment to create data-driven materials and an outreach program, including a one-day seminar, to engage stakeholders and enhance fundraising.

PALA is part of the World Health Organization’s global Age-Friendly Initiative; in the US, the initiative is promoted by the American Association for Retired Persons, which has admitted over 300 cities into the Age-Friendly Network. Because of its large elderly population and extraordinary diversity (more than 200 languages are spoken in LA County), the LA region represents a socio-demographic model of where the rest of the nation and world are headed. In that sense, by making it a better place to grow old, LA County can serve as a guide for the kind of broad-based commitment that will be necessary to re-imagine city life to not only meet the special needs of older adults but to take greater advantage of their assets. To support this work, Los Angeles County will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level Fellow for one year who will conduct gap and funding analyses of its services for older and dependent adults, and propose recommendations to ensure that the five-year strategic plan for WDACS fulfills the County’s vision to be a truly age-friendly community.


The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the Fellow and the host agency.”

Starting in April 2019, it is proposed the FUSE Fellow will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment survey and gap analysis of WDACS Area Agency on Aging (AAA) programs for older and dependent adults. The data for the gap analysis will be sourced from the PALA survey, which collected over 14,000 responses, as well as WDACS’ own needs assessments, input from contractors and a newly generated stakeholder survey. This analysis will yield insights into unmet needs as well as projections on the extent to which services need to be expanded. Separately, a funding analysis will also be conducted, focusing on current sources and making recommendations for cost savings and additional funding to cover new initiatives or enhanced services that become evident through the gap analysis. The fellow will also help develop data-driven outreach materials with an eye towards building collaborator and new stakeholder involvement, culminating in a day-long seminar.

This fellow’s success in this endeavor will be evaluated based on several factors. A thorough and insightful analysis of available data is essential. It will be necessary to engender a sense of stakeholder participation by crafting outreach materials that invite collaboration. With a strong background in strategic thinking and planning, preferably but not necessarily related to social services, as well as strong project management abilities, the fellow should effectively analyze large amounts of data, extract the relevant information, and make actionable program recommendations in keeping with demographic trends. At least half the year should be dedicated to data collection and analysis, which will include creating at least one additional survey that targets potential stakeholders and funding sources. The second half will go towards refining recommendations for the four-year strategic plan (2020-24) and preparing outreach materials, culminating in the day-long seminar.  It is hoped the seminar will set the stage for new action items that advance the agency’s four-year plan.

The fellow’s project management skills will play an important role in the development of the four-year strategic plan (2020-24), which describes the AAA’s plan for developing coordinated and accessible home- and community-based systems of care to address community needs and develop services for older adults, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers.

  • Conduct needs assessment and begin gap analysis: Get an overview of AAA’s 10 support programs for older and dependent adults. Start to collect data through the needs assessment survey and datasets from the PALA survey to produce a needs assessment report on the services provided, focusing on user demand and shortfalls in meeting those demands.
  • Conduct funding analysis and data survey: Get an overview of budgets for each program and their funding sources. Analyze budgets in terms of cost efficiency, with an eye towards finding savings without compromising service. As the extent of service gaps becomes clear, calculate spending increases to cover enhancement of those services over a five-year period. Examine potential sources to diversify funding. Design a survey to strengthen data and incorporate the input of potential stakeholders and funders.
  • Make recommendations for four-year plan: As a detailed picture of AAA service requirements and related funding emerges, formulate recommendations for management that can be incorporated in the AAA four-year Area Plan.
  • Develop outreach materials: Create data-driven outreach materials to illustrate the agency’s road map to fulfilling the PALA action plan, and help share them with existing and potential shareholders. Participate in setting the agenda for the day-long conference on the plan, providing a conceptual framework that sets clear cut goals for future action.


  • Otto Solórzano, Chief Deputy Director, WDACS
  • Anna Avdalyan, Program Manager, Aging and Adult Services.
  • Solomon Shibeshi, Human Services Administrator, Aging and Adult Services


  • At least 15 years of professional experience in project management and consulting, particularly with a strong background in data research and strategic planning.
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations.
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences, with particular empathy for and understanding of the aging population.
  • Facilitative techniques to help coordinate stakeholder participation in outreach activities.
  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who can also be an independent worker.
  • Persistent in obtaining information and creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to complex problems.
  • Ability to create direction and movement within bureaucratic environments.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in public presentations.
  • Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity.


Click the link below to upload a resume and complete the online application questions in lieu of a cover letter. The application process will allow you to indicate interest in more than one fellowship opportunity. You only need to submit one application. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as selections will be made on a rolling basis and specific opportunities may close quickly.

A FUSE Fellowship is a 12-month engagement requiring fellows be primarily committed to their partnership with the government agency throughout the year to ensure the success of their project. Fellows are retained as independent contractors of FUSE Corps and are paid an annual stipend of $90,000 through monthly installments. This commitment begins on April 29, 2019 and ends April 27, 2020.

The FUSE Fellowship is an equal opportunity program with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.