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May 1, 2014

WIB Member Profile: Louis Song

Co-founder & CEO


Headquartered in San Diego, PROVEN provides consulting and contingent staffing solutions in the areas of life sciences, technology, finance, accounting and operations on a direct-hire, contract-to-hire, and contract basis. Since starting in 2007, PROVEN has been named one of San Diego’s best places to work (2008–2013) and is one of San Diego’s fastest growing companies with revenues exceeding $18M in 2014. 

Louis Song is the co-founder and CEO of PROVEN. He is a member of the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB).

SDWP: What motivated you to join the WIB?

Song: Growing up in Northern Virginia, my father was an overnight hotel engineer (the guy that fixed your toilet at 3 in the morning) and my mom was a seamstress. My brothers and I were much like many of the kids that are being helped today by the WIB. Even now as a 40-something-year-old, I remember the cultural challenges and awkwardness of not being ready for a professional workplace. It seemed so seamless for many of my peers to work in an office while I was used to working in laundromats and sandwich shops. If I had access to programs like CONNECT2Careers, it would have definitely helped me to adjust more quickly as well as given me exposure to more types of opportunities.

SDWP: What issues are you most passionate about as they relate to workforce development?

Song: Youth development and employment is really important for me. I’ve had a great journey as the co-founder and CEO of my own recruiting firm, but I was also pretty limited in my thinking as to what was possible growing up. The options in my mind were only doctor or lawyer because that’s what my parents told me I should become. I wasn’t passionate about either of these careers but was really ignorant about what the opportunities were beyond the two options. For my own boys, they have family members who include a pilot, chef, software engineer, reporter, sci-fi author, musician, non-profit director as well as a doctor and a lawyer. Whether it’s for my own boys or for other youth, access and exposure fuels the imagination as to what is really possible in life.

SDWP: Tell a brief story about a person, event or project that you were involved with that underscored your passion for these issues. 

Song: Since we started PROVEN Inc. seven years ago, we have had college interns year-round and have also developed our own on-the-job training (OJT) program, mostly for new college graduates, which has resulted in more than 10 full-time hires during that period. One of the individuals who went through our OJT program was actually a college dropout who was bartending when we decided to hire him. He’s now on his way to earning more than $60,000 this year. But more importantly, he loves making a positive difference by helping people get a new or a better job.

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