“Looking back, I always knew I wanted to be of service,” —Alex Hinojosa

Alex is now the Department of Arts and Culture’s Human Resources Manager, but the road that led to it was a winding one. Out of high school, she tutored elementary school kids in ESL classes and worked as a recreation leader for the City of Pico Rivera, where she grew up. In college, she was on track to get her teaching credential when she landed an LA County job as an Intermediate Clerk with the Office of the Assessor. She figured the County was temporary, but the opportunities kept presenting themselves. After a few clerical and secretarial support roles, she landed in Human Resources—the area she’s stayed and grown in at the Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors and County Counsel.

Today, she’s an example of how the County supports and invests in its workforce. In 2012 she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Sector Management and a Master’s in Public Administration a few years later. Both programs were possible through a partnership between the County and Cal State Northridge that offers advanced education opportunities to full-time employees.

In April 2019, Alex arrived at Arts and Culture, as it was transitioning from the Arts Commission to an official County department. She has played a key role in ensuring the new department is in compliance with HR-related activities, and is in constant contact with the staff about policies, trainings, COVID-19 mandates, employee wellness, and professional development opportunities. This work ensues against the backdrop of Radiohead when she’s at office, and her two barking dogs, Rocky Balboa and Max, when she telecommutes.

Alex also serves on Arts and Culture’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and on that group’s subcommittee, which his helping to develop the department’s racial equity statement. She also leads the department’s Policy Development Workgroup, in which she collaborates with peers to establish internal policies using an equity lens. "These are opportunities to learn about equity and inclusion from other perspectives. I’m proud to be a part of advancing these values, both internally and throughout the County," she said.

In her 17 years with the County, Arts and Culture is the smallest department she’s worked. "There’s something unique about working in a small department. It’s challenging because we don’t have a lot of staff to assist with administration, but that small size means I collaborate with everyone. I like supporting staff as they move their programs forward, and getting to know them in the process."

Alex lives in Downey with a family that is, except for the Zoom-interrupting Rocky and Max, also devoted to service. Her husband is a longtime County employee at Public Works, and their son, a recent Whittier College grad, is pursuing a career as a police officer. When her laptop closes, she shares home-cooked meals, watches TCM movies, looks for vintage gems at flea markets, and tries to finish her latest crochet project.