October 12-13, 2018 | Tuscon, AZ

Technology is fueling our nation’s rapid economic change and causing the biggest workforce transition since the Industrial Revolution. This shift has brought forth economic opportunity for those who have access to the knowledge and tools needed to build and transform their skillsets to compete in the present and future labor market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total labor force in Arizona is comprised of over three million people, with Latinos accounting over a third of the workforce. As the second largest population group in Arizona, the economic success of Latinos in the current and future workforce is intricately tied to the economic prosperity of the state. Therefore, the decisions made today by policymakers about how to best prepare students in the K-12 pipeline for these workforce transitions will result in long lasting economic effects for the state.

The Arizona Statewide Policy Institute: From the Classroom to Equipping Arizona’s Youth for the Workforce of Tomorrow provided policymakers with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge around current workforce issues and discuss various approaches to strengthen their jurisdictions’ workforce development strategies. This two-day convening brought together Latino policymakers from throughout the state to acquire tools that will help them leverage innovative and successful workforce development policies and best practices to drive economic success in the labor market for their constituents, communities, and regions in the state.

The Institute’s curriculum covered:

  • Preparing Latinos for the workforce of tomorrow and statewide workforce trends
  • Leveraging opportunities in the digital economy
  • Integrated reentry and employment strategies to strengthen job readiness
  • Turning job skills into careers
  • Industry sector strategies:

• Service
• Healthcare

Participants strengthened their governance skills to support effective leadership, received timely information, learned best practices, exchanged policies and ideas around effective ways to address pressing workforce development issues, and had the opportunity to network with colleagues and experts from throughout the state. This Institute was a part of the NALEO Arizona Leadership Academy which provides public servants with evidence-based training to enhance their leadership, policy, and governance skills on education issues to become effective advocates for their communities.


Title Sponsors


  • Friday, October 12
  • Saturday, October 13

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Catalina Foyer


8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Ventana Dining Room, Second Level


9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level

Welcome Remarks

Additional Resources: 1 | 2

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level

Session I:


Preparing Latinos for the Workforce of Tomorrow: Workforce Trends

Unprecedented transformations in our workforce and economy are causing robust growth and opportunities in various industry sectors. With Latinos being the second largest population group in the state, it is imperative that Latinos are equipped with marketable skills that match up to the needs of the economy and are career-ready to seize opportunities in the labor market. An understanding of statewide workforce trends is a valuable tool to strategize how resources should be allocated to support job training and workforce development for Latinos to meet the workforce demands in Arizona. This session provided policymakers with an update on workforce development projections for various industry sectors across the state and explored policy opportunities that support workforce development initiatives in the different regions of the state.

Session Chair: Hon. Lorenzo Sierra, Councilmember, City of Avondale

• Mr. Glenn Hamer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Additional Resources: 1 | 2 | 3

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level

Session II:


The Transformative Power of Technology: Leveraging Opportunities in the Digital Economy

Technological advances have ushered in the era of digital economies, an era that relies on the internet and data to conduct economic activity. The digital economy is transforming workforce industries while giving rise to completely new ones. Innovative partnerships between policymakers and key stakeholders will ensure that Latinos are equipped to participate and succeed in the new digital economy. In this session, policymakers explored how advanced technologies will continue to shape our digital economy, and participants discussed K-12 strategies that can be implemented to address the potential workforce implications for communities.

Session Chair: Hon. Reginald Bolding, Arizona State Representative, Ranking Member, Education Committee

• Ms. Dawn Wallace, Senior Advisor for Education and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

• Ms. Shereka Jackson, Lead User Technology Specialist, Parks and Recreation Department, CodePHX, City of Phoenix

• Mr. Seth Beute, Principal, Phoenix Coding Academy

Additional Resource: 1

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Ventana Dining Room, Second Level

Luncheon Program:


Census 2020 – Make it Count!

This session provided participants with information on NALEO Educational Fund’s most current updates and resources for the Census 2020, including a Census Complete Count Committee Toolkit for Policymakers.

• Ms. Erica Bernal-Martinez, Deputy Executive Director, NALEO Educational Fund

PRESENTATION | Resources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level

Session III:


From Disengagement to Opportunity: Equipping Youth for Job Readiness

Particularly vulnerable to the dynamics and changes rooted in the new economy are opportunity youth who face a different set of barriers to obtain employment. Research has demonstrated that cross-sector collaboration aimed at reengaging and equipping opportunity youth with a range of skillsets could reduce interaction with the criminal justice system and pave their way towards paths to social mobility. In this session, policymakers explored innovative, integrated strategies that prepare opportunity youth to succeed in the labor market and help them make long lasting contributions to society.

Session Chair: Hon. Richard Elías, Chair, Pima County Board of Supervisors

• Dr. G. Roger Jarjoura, Principal Investigator, American Institutes for Research (AIR)

• Ms. Monique De La Luz, Workforce Development Specialist, Coconino County Career Center

Additional Resources: 1 | 2 | 3

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level

Session IV:


Policy Implementation: Short and Long Term Strategies

Policymakers must work collectively to respond to the workforce opportunities and challenges that their communities and citizens are experiencing. This session provided policymakers with an opportunity to engage in a discussion with each other to develop an action plan with short and long term strategies to improve student academic and workforce outcomes in their communities.

4:30 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level


4:35 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Catalina Ballroom, Lobby Level

Closing Remarks

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Upper Terrace

Opening Reception

Helios Education Foundation
State Farm®
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation