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Latino State News

¡Fuerza!  Stronger Economy, Stronger Latino Workers

¡Fuerza!  Stronger Economy, Stronger Latino Workers

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NCLR hosts second annual Workforce Development Forum in the Windy City

CHICAGO—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will host its second annual Workforce Development Forum in Chicago at the DoubleTree Hotel Magnificent Mile on Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 12.  More than 400 people are expected to unite to discuss current topics related to the Chicago area and the nation’s Latino workers. 

It is estimated that by 2050, one in three working-age Americans will be Latino, hence the forum’s focus on issues that hinder the career advancement of the nearly 21.6 million Hispanic Americans who are currently in the workforce.  The forum will present interactive workshops for participants to identify issues affecting working Latinos and effective methods to improve opportunities and career advancement.

Forum Workshops

-Demographic Disparity-

Game Changers:  Reversing Demographic Destiny for Latino Youth
Tuesday, October 10, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
This session will present new research on comprehensive factors affecting outcomes for Latino youth, and will highlight innovative efforts to improve their academic and career success.


  * Sarah Hooker, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute (moderator)
  * Jeanne Batalova, PhD, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
  * Madeline Roman-Vargas, Dean, Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center,  Wilbur Wright College
  * Teresita Wisell, Associate Dean, The Gateway Center, and Director, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, Westchester       Community College

-Gender Issues-

A Gender Lens on Workforce Development:  Program Practices and Policy that Support Inclusion and Success for Female Participants in High-Wage, Blue Collar Careers
Tuesday, October 10, 1:45–3:00 p.m.
This workshop will focus on strategies and models to build career pathways for women into traditionally male-dominated jobs in construction, transportation, and the green economy, including how to use equal employment and affirmative action policies to build effective industry engagement and an overview of funding and policy opportunities.


  * Lauren Sugerman, Women and Work Project Director, Wider Opportunities for Women
  * Jayne Vellinga, Executive Director, Chicago Women in Trades

-Job Quality-

A Bill of Rights for Latino Workers
Tuesday, October 10, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
This workshop will highlight ways in which direct service organizations can influence policy advocacy with minimum extra work.


  * Wendy Chun-Hoon, DC Director, Family Values @ Work (moderator)
  * Charmaine Davis, Lead Organizer, 9to5 Atlanta
  * Saduf Syal, Community Workforce Project Coordinator, Make the Road New York
  * Janelle Williams, Chief of Staff/Manager of Research and Policy, The Center for Working Families, Inc.

Tapping into a Forgotten Labor Pool:  Supporting Job Placement of Latino Immigrant Health Care Professionals through Partnerships
Tuesday, October 10, 3:15–4:30 p.m.
This session focuses on the latest research on foreign credential recognition and highlights innovative programs that help move Latino immigrants into high-demand jobs in the health care sector through partnerships with governments, community colleges, and employers.


  * Margie McHugh, Co-Director, National Center on Immigration Integration Policy,  Migration Policy Institute (moderator)
  * Jeanne Batalova, PhD, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
  * Jennifer Brennan, Director, IMPRINT Immigrant Professional Integration and Influence
            and Impact Manager, Upwardly Global
  * Sonia Mora, Manager, Latino Health Initiative, and Administrator, Welcome Back
            Center of Suburban Maryland

Opportunity Chicago:  A Partnership for Change
Wednesday, October 11, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
Participants will hear from leaders and service providers involved in Opportunity Chicago, a five-year, multistakeholder initiative that successfully helped nearly 6,000 Chicago Housing Authority residents prepare for and find employment.


  * Maria Hibbs, Executive Director, The Partnership for New Communities
  * Linda Kaiser, Executive Vice President, Resident Services, Chicago Housing Authority
  * Jennifer Keeling, Director, City Policy, Chicago Jobs Council
  * Amy Santacaterina, Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Development, Department of Family and Support Services

Partnerships to Promote Access to Good Jobs in the National Restaurant Industry
Wednesday, October 11, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
This workshop will describe an innovative partnership between a national restaurant workers’ organization, a public workforce agency, a community college, and a growing national cooperative restaurant company.


  * Dr. Jonathan Deutsch, Professor, Kingsborough Community College
  * Bruce Herman, Former Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development, New York
            State Department of Labor
  * Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
  * Juan Carlos Ruiz, National Project Manager, COLORS Restaurants

For registration information and a complete schedule of workshops and events please visit www.nclr.org/wfdconference. 

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.