Incorporated in 1973, Asian Neighborhood Design (A.N.D.) began its work by helping to make improvements in low-income Asian neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the late 1980s, A.N.D. also decided that it wanted to partner with other ethnically diverse communities both regionally and nationally. Since that time, A.N.D. has worked with several local and regional organizations to develop a more systemic approach to alleviating poverty. This approach includes programs that focus on business development and employment training, and housing and community development.
For its business development and employment training program, A.N.D. operates a building technology center and a 65,000-square foot manufacturing mill in West Oakland. At the technology center, students learn a variety of skills to make them more ready for employment, such as how to write resumes and business correspondence, and how to earn a GED. They learn specific skills, such as computer-automated drafting and design, computer-aided manufacturing, and Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machinery and cabinetmaking. Because the job-training program operates next to a manufacturing company that makes business and home furniture, students can observe professionals on their jobs, and they can participate in peer mentoring as part of their training. A.N.D. partners with a variety of ethnic and religious organizations in its community and housing development programs. In addition to helping organizations in the construction and management of affordable housing, A.N.D. also is involved in other activities to increase the success of low-income neighborhoods, such as providing a handbook of guidelines for business owners making storefront improvements and rehabilitating properties, and coordinating community-planning processes to help neighborhoods deliberate about proposed neighborhood projects. A.N.D. also provides support services for low-income residents to help people become more economically self-sufficient and help them stabilize their housing situations.
Since the training program's inception, A.N.D. has trained over 1,200 people. Approximately 75% of participants in the job training program are placed in jobs, with 90% of those placed retaining their jobs for at least 90 days full-time. Since the opening of the mill in 1995, over 35 permanent and transitional jobs for community residents have been created.