Professor of Chicano/a and Central American Studies and Director, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Department: César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, School of Public Affairs, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Professor Valenzuela is a professor in the César E. Chávez Department for Chicana/o and Central American Studies and holds joint appointment in the Department of Urban Planning. His research is primarily concerned with the issues faced by minorities and immigrants in the U.S. His work focuses on three key interrelated areas: 1) immigration and labor markets, 2) poverty and inequality, and 3) immigrant settlement patterns. His work combines ethnographic, in-depth interviews, participant observation, and quantitative methods to document and explain the processes that govern the incorporation of immigrants to the U.S. Professor Valenzuela is currently working on further publishing articles and completing a manuscript on day labor in a national context. His groundbreaking work on day labor continues to drive his primary research agenda. In addition, Professor Valenzuela is undertaking research on non-union supermarket janitors (subcontractors), immigrant-serving community based organizations, and the organizing campaigns of security guards and car wash attendants.
At UCLA, Professor Valenzuela directs the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty, teaches courses on labor and employment, immigration and U.S. society, urban poverty and public policy, and planning issues in minority communities. He is also the Chair of the University of California Committee on Latino Research. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in Venice with his wife and two sons.