This UnidosUS Affiliate in Chicago is creating a community where everyone can thrive

The Center for Changing Lives (CCL) supports and uplifts individuals who have been limited by a lack of resources and economic opportunities to help them discover new possibilities, overcome barriers, and realize their full potential.

Center for Changing Lives

A mentor-led training session at the Center for Changing Lives in Chicago. Photo: CCL

The Chicago-based nonprofit operates under the fundamental belief that all people are creative, resourceful and whole. And CCL has a track record of helping clients increase their income, net worth and credit scores through financial coaching and other services.

In 2017, CCL provided financial coaching to over 360 community members. And the results speak for themselves:

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Advocates discuss opportunities and challenges in career and technical education

Career and technical education programs in high schools today offer training in careers ranging from STEM fields to marketing, sales, and service. Their  continued improvement and expansion is important to the Latino community.

Career and Technical Education

On January 10, UnidosUS and the National Urban League brought together researchers, policymakers, advocates, and practitioners whose common goal is to ensure that state education plans equally prepare all students with 21st-century skills.

One of those areas of focus is in career and technical education, or CTE.

But we’re not talking about the vocational education of years past that channeled certain populations of students into skilled trades and prevented them from working toward academic degrees. CTE today provides students with academic and technical skills, along with training for a range of industry certifications, and postsecondary certificates and degrees. CTE offers 16 career clusters ranging from STEM fields to marketing, sales, and service.

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Advance Your Career on Our Workforce Development Team

Are you passionate about working towards creating opportunities that will put more people to work? If the answer is “yes,” then we want to hear from you! Our Workforce Development department is on the hunt for a  program coordinator. See the entire listing below or click the link and follow the instructions for submitting your application today!

WFD Program Coordinator

The Role of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in Preparing New Citizens

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In 2014, Congress enacted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to modernize adult education and workforce training. For many years, these two areas had been treated separately in federal policymaking and adults with limited English proficiency were frequently stuck in English classes for years before they could advance to developing any skills. Recognizing this disconnect, WIOA borrowed models from many community groups, including NCLR Affiliates, that combined English as a second language and job training into one program. However, many immigrants want to learn English for reasons other than to find a job, including like becoming a U.S. citizen. Both WIOA and proposed rules from the Department of Education—the agency responsible for regulating adult learning programs—make clear that funding must support workforce outcomes and cannot be used for other adult learning needs.

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As we commemorate Labor Day—a look at Latino millennials in the workforce

By Karla Bachmann, Program Manager, Workforce Development

Latino millennials are an increasingly important part of the American workforce. In the first quarter of 2015, according to Pew Research, there were 53.5 million millennials in the labor force, and more than 20% were Latino. That percentage is expected to grow exponentially.

Mi Casa Bank Teller Training

Mi Casa Bank Teller Training

While we have seen a marked increase in high school and college graduation rates among Hispanic youth, both important determinants of future employment, millennial Latinos continue to be underemployed—which affects their perception of future economic stability and prosperity. According to recent surveys, while young Latinos agree that the economy has improved, many are concerned about the weak labor market and career mobility opportunities.

Those fears are based on real numbers: Latinos between 17–20 years of age who have a high school diploma have an underemployment rate of 41.9%, while those between 21–24 years of age with a bachelor’s degree have a 16.3% underemployment rate. Many of these individuals are either employed in part-time jobs, unemployed, or have given up looking for work. Individuals who lack post-secondary education end up in low-skill, low-wage jobs that pay at or near minimum-wage levels. Many individuals work two or three jobs to support their families and have little opportunity to enter into jobs that promise upward mobility.

Mi Casa Bank Teller Training 2Programs like those that NCLR and its Affiliate organizations offer, in partnership with corporations looking for a trained workforce, are critical in helping to bridge the employment gap. One of those programs is a bank teller training developed with the financial support of Wells Fargo, piloted with three NCLR Affiliates: Association House of Chicago; El Barrio, in Cleveland; and Youth Development, Inc. in Albuquerque. The training prepares Latino youth for jobs in the banking and financial sector that lead to financial and career advancement. By providing Latino youth with meaningful vocational training that builds on their existing skills, NCLR and its Affiliates can help Latino youth be more gainfully employed and on a career pathway to economic advancement. NCLR projects that by exposing Latino youth to careers in the financial sector, they and their families are more likely to be financially literate, less prone to use predatory financial products, and engaged in asset building.

The future of America’s workforce is clearly tied to the success of Latino millennials, and today, as we commemorate Labor Day, we highlight the important work being done and the work ahead to ensure that this critical sector of America’s labor force is set on a path to success.