Learn about our social enterprise.

While serving City Heights’ youth, UPAC (Union of Pan Asian Communities) understood that the community needed a safe gathering place. Going a step further, our team realized the young people needed a way to gain employment and develop lifelong career, interpersonal and leadership skills in the process. They needed a place where they can grown and thrive.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide a variety of impactful programs to the City Heights community in San Diego. Together, our programs nurture innovation, celebrate diversity, build cross-cultural understanding and develop neighborhood self-sufficiency.


Uplifting our community—one affordable meal, one job, one person at a time.

Everything started with the recognition of a need. The UPAC team’s work in City Heights inspired them to start a community hub where youth employment is provided and skills are acquired. Bringing this idea to the City of San Diego, UPAC received seed funding in 2018.

Transforming a 4,622 square-foot restaurant into a vibrant, thriving and innovative social enterprise, the Neighborhood Enterprise Center (NEC) was born.

Today, we continue to carry out our mission, meeting the local community’s needs through adaptive, creative and carefully chosen programs. Providing more than entry-level jobs, we offer growth opportunities, such as promotions, all while allowing students the flexibility to stay in school.

As a social enterprise of UPAC in San Diego, the NEC is under the umbrella of the 501(c)(3) organization.

Get to Know our Team.

Our staff is the heart and soul of the Neighborhood Enterprise Center. Training, mentoring, and employing youth from the community is the goal of our operations and we are proud of the hard work and dedication each staff members puts into NEC. Get to know a few of the youth who have grown up with us over the years.

Thank you to our partners.

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Equip local youth with skills for today—and greater success tomorrow.

Meaningful employment. Deeper connection with their community. Practical skills for the future. As our local youth collaborate and learn together at the NEC, your donation or purchase ensures this space – and opportunity to learn – is here for them.