Opportunity for growth. How our Workforce Development initiatives help Latinos reach new heights

The UnidosUS Workforce Development Forum is two weeks away. Los Angeles is welcoming organizations working with the Latino and immigrant workforce to brainstorm and identify solutions to the challenges they face. They’ll be hearing inspiring stories like Viviana’s. She is a former self-employed woman who found her calling in our Latinos in Finance initiative and is now in the hiring process with Bank of America. This year’s Forum, Latinos @ Work: Developing Talent for Today and Tomorrow, will be a unique opportunity to discuss how we can prepare our community to access the jobs of today and thrive in the jobs of tomorrow. You can still attend this exceptional event where you will hear directly from our community, our Affiliates, government agencies, training providers, and our business partners about how we are getting ready for the future of work.

By Beatriz Paniego-Béjar, Content Specialist at UnidosUS

Viviana, 40, heard about Latinos in Finance from her cousin, who had completed the program at UnidosUS Affiliate Lawrence CommunityWorks (LCW) in Lawrence, Massachusetts. This initiative aims to train Latinos for employment in the financial services sector and to help employers find employees that are culturally and linguistically competent. Viviana’s cousin got hired at a bank right after she graduated, and Viviana wanted that for herself as well, but she was also attracted to the idea of being able to change careers, and the opportunity for growth.

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Viviana was kind enough to share her experience with the program in her own words:

When I began the training, I had my own business; however, I was facing economic hardships. Listening to my cousin’s testimony on how she loved the training and was working at a bank motivated me to attend one of their information sessions.

After meeting all the requirements and signing up, the first day of the training, I called and notified my instructor that I wouldn’t be able to attend: my situation had changed. However, two days later I attended my cousin’s graduation from the Latinos in Finance training, and I was so inspired by the ceremony and all the students’ testimonies that I reached out to the instructor again and basically begged her to take me back.

She explained how the two days I was out would count towards the total of absences of the training; if I missed two more classes I would automatically be dropped from the training. I agreed and never did I miss one more class. Every morning, I looked forward to class and meeting a different guest speaker who would teach me something new about banking. Surprisingly, not only did I learn about banking; the program also prepared me to excel at my interview and even referred me to an organization to obtain free professional clothing.

Although I’m sad because the training is over, I am thrilled to able to start my new banking career. I am constantly sharing my experience about my training with others and referring them to LCW. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and all the good things it has brought to my life.

Viviana is currently in the hiring process with Bank of America for the position of relationship banker, and couldn’t be happier about the step she took to move forward in her career.

A must-attend event

Latinos in Finance started in 2015, and the success stories of women like Viviana have created a strong demand from the community and employers, so the initiative is now in 12 cities across the country and has enrolled more than 900 participants.

During the Workforce Development Forum, we will be sharing stories like Viviana’s, as well as many others from more of UnidosUS’s Workforce Development initiatives. The Forum will kick off on Tuesday, November 19 with professional development seminars like “Enhancing Confidence in the Age of Automation: A Motivational Interviewing Approach,” where participants will become familiar with motivational interviewing approaches to improve jobseekers’ confidence and commitment to practice new digital skills. The afternoon will be filled with two workshop sessions, covering topics from the booming of the hospitality industry to opportunities to elevate community voices through workforce development and more.

For Wednesday, November 20, expect two more appealing workshop sessions that will look into the future of tech in LA, how our community will lead the transition to the green economy, building Latina self-sufficiency through a home child care business training program, and the successful re-entry program in Puerto Rico, and more.

The lunch plenaries of the Forum will cover the topic of the Future of Work: a panel of researchers will present on Tuesday and a panel of practitioners on Wednesday. They’ll also be plenty of opportunities to network with all attendess, and day two will also bring the “Best Practices Café,” where organizations will be giving short presentations about what has worked for them in the programs they have developed and they participate in.

The Worforce Development Forum will be filled with learning opportunites that will inspire attendees to see their spot in the future of jobs. Check out the complete agenda here, and don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this Forum.

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