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

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 [email protected]. An agenda of scheduled events can be found here.



2017 UnidosUS Workforce Development Forum

Wednesday, September 13, through Friday, September 15; see schedule below for highlights and full agenda here

Tropicana Las Vegas

3801 S Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV 89109

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