Workforce Connections, in partnership with the federal Office of Family Assistance and Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, hosted the “Thriving Communities for a Better Southern Nevada” forum on Friday, January 10, at the Windmill Library.
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 was the first Thriving Communities forum to be held in the Western region of the United States.
During the forum, around 200 local decision-makers from business, philanthropy, social services, as well as local, state and federal government, gathered to address specific barriers many children and families in Southern Nevada face in overcoming the cycle of poverty.
Together, those in attendance created 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 included brief presentations on the issues, then allowed for breakout sessions where attendees were asked to reflect, share, and prioritize specific strategies.
- 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
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. Ways to help include mentoring a youth, adopting a school, hiring individuals from alternative labor pools, and helping entry-level staff receive training to advance their careers.
The pledge cards are available at www.thrivingsnv.org.
Check out the coverage on 8 News Now: