Workforce Connections, in partnership with the federal Office of Family Assistance and Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, will host the "Thriving Communities for a Better Southern Nevada" forum on Friday, Jan. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89113.
Clark County, Nevada was chosen by the federal government to host this forum due to its track record of successful collaboration between social service, government, business, workforce and education-based agencies. This is the first Thriving Communities forum to be held in the Western region of the United States.
"Far too many families in Southern Nevada face barriers that make it difficult to get ahead," said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "This forum is an opportunity for us to come together to develop plans of action so we can leverage our local, state and federal resources to help all our citizens reach their full potential."
During Friday's forum, around 200 local decision-makers from business, philanthropy, social services, as well as local, state and federal government, will convene to address specific barriers many children and families in Southern Nevada face in overcoming the cycle of poverty. Forum group sessions are open to the public. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Best opportunity for media is during opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. and the first "Forum for Action" at 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
Together, attendees will create strategic action plans targeting three key areas:
• Widening career pathways for the chronically underemployed
• Connecting low-income youth to employment and other help
• Facilitating economic mobility for single parents in poverty
The forum will include brief presentations on the issues, then allow for breakout sessions where attendees will be asked to reflect, share, and prioritize specific strategies. Seating capacity in the breakout sessions is limited to attendees who pre-registered for the conference.
"This is the first time we will have these key decision-makers in the same room together talking in-depth about these critical issues facing local families," said Jaime Cruz, Workforce Connections executive director. "Our goal is to identify specific solutions, as well as how to best work together as a community to implement those solutions."
The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) is a division of the Administration for Children & Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OFA has chosen several key communities across the United States to hold Thriving Communities forums in cooperation with local government and workforce development leaders.
As part of the effort, officials unveiled a pledge card that caring citizens, businesses and organizations can sign to help disadvantaged children and families overcome barriers to success. The pledge cards are available online at thrivingsnv.org. Forum speakers include:
- Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Clark County Commission Chairman
- Clarence H. Carter, Office of Family Assistance, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Director
- Dr. Jesus F. Jara, Clark County School District Superintendent
- Dr. Tiffany Tyler-Garner, Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) Director
- Richard Carranza, New York Department of Education Chancellor
- Tim Burch, Clark County Human Services Administrator
- Jack Martin, Clark County Juvenile Justice Services Director
- Manny Lamarre, WestEd Senior Program Associate
- Tami Hance-Lehr, Communities in Schools CEO & State Director
- Dr. Ron Heezan, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Executive Director
- Larry Pasti, The Forum for Youth Investment Senior Director
- Babs Roberts, Washington State Community Services Division Director
- Marjorie Sims, Aspen Institute Ascend Managing Director
- Janae Bradford, CAP Tulsa Family Advancement Assistant Director
- Mary Beth Sewald, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce CEO
- Jaime Cruz, Workforce Connections Executive Director
- Local community members who have overcome challenges