Media Advisory

UnidosUS 2017 Workforce Development Forum Spotlights Opportunity Youth, New Drivers of Economic Growth

Policymakers, business and community leaders, nonprofits and others to focus on young Latinos

September 11, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—Investing in youth and toppling barriers to economic opportunity for a growing and changing labor force are the central themes of the UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) 2017 Workforce Development Forum, which will run September 13–15 at the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas. Featuring Congressman Rubén Kihuen as a keynote speaker on September 15, the Forum will offer more than 22 workshops and professional development sessions on major issues facing Latino workers. UnidosUS will bring together nearly 300 participants, including business leaders, employers, community-based organizations and community members to discuss the steps needed to equip our future workforce with the skills and education to thrive in a changing economic landscape.

This year’s Forum will emphasize the need to invest in our future workforce by harnessing the talents of opportunity youth—young adults disconnected from the education and economic mainstream. The event will look at the tools and resources that can address their unique challenges and ensure that they have a strong shot at reaching economic self-sufficiency.

Dynamic speakers at this year’s event will include state and local officials, as well as leaders from the nonprofit and business sectors from across the country. McDonald’s and Wells Fargo are Co-Title Sponsors of the 2017 Workforce Development Forum.

Media are invited to all panels and those interested in attending should RSVP to Gabriela Gomez at An agenda of scheduled events can be found here.


What:2017 UnidosUS Workforce Development Forum 
When:Wednesday, September 13, through Friday, September 15; see schedule below for highlights and full agenda here
Where: Tropicana Las Vegas 
3801 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Who:UnidosUS; industry and business leaders; community organizations; and national, state, and local officials.
UnidosUS 2017 Workforce Development Forum Schedule Highlights:
Thursday, September 14
Lunch and Panel
Opportunity Everywhere: Perspectives from Across the U.S.
Noon–1:15 p.m. PT
Presented by: Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager, Operations, Economic and Workforce Development, City of Los Angeles
Moderator: Kisha Bird, Director, Youth Policy, CLASP
Lorena Zimmer, Director, Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Gustavo Jimenez, Manager of Grant Administration, Workforce Advancement, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas
Humberto Palacios, Former Opportunity Youth, National Council of Young Leaders
Friday, September 15
Holistic Support for DACAmented and DACA-Eligible Youth

9:30–10:45 a.m. PT
Presented by: Judy Lai, Director of Workforce Development, Erie Neighborhood House
Emily Anderson, Dean of Adult Education, Wilbur Wright College, City Colleges of Chicago
Alma Rodriguez, Program Officer, Chicago Community Trust
Oswaldo Alvarez, Program Developer, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
Friday, September 15
Lunch and Keynote Speakers
12:30–2 p.m. PT
Congressman Rubén J. Kihuen

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For almost 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.