Bridges to Opportunity: Workforce Development for English Language Learners

About the Conference

The Bridges to Opportunity conference was held October 27 and 28th, 2006, at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York. Designed as a working, participatory conference, Bridges offered professionals a forum to learn from each other and develop recommendations for the field of workforce development for English Language Learners.

To listen to audio files and see the panelists' and keynote presentations, please visit the conference proceedings. The full conference program (pdf) is now available, or see the agenda below for the schedule of events.

Friday October 27

Saturday October 28

8:15 am - 8:45 am
Registration and Breakfast

8:30 am - 9:00 am

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Opening: Welcome and Keynote Address

Opening Remarks:
Representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, New York City, New York State, the Workforce Investment Board, and others

Keynote Address:
What Works? Integrating Langauage and Job Skills
Dr. Heide Spruck Wrigley

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Panel 3: Issues in Instructional Design & Delivery

*Jon Engel, Community Action Inc., San Marcos, TX
*Ricardo Estrada, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Chicago, IL
*Donna Price, San Diego Community College Continuing Education, CA
*Regina Suitt, Pima Community College Adult Education, AZ

11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Panel 1: Systemic Transformations in Workforce Development Programs for English Language Learners

*Kathy Cooper, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Olympia, WA
*Sue Follinsbee, Workforce Literacy Consultant, TriEn Communications, Ontario, Canada
*Eleni Papadakis, Vice President, Commonwealth Corporation, Boston, MA

10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Breakout Discussion Groups Develop Recommendations

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Lunch and Wrap Up: Review of Recommendations

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Panel 2: Promising Approaches in Supporting Career Advancement for English Language Learners

*Cindy Arnold, El Puente CDC, La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, TX
*Tania Ramírez, Center for Immigrant Education and Training, LaGuardia Community College, NY
*José Ramón Fernández-Peña, San Francisco State University, CA


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Breakout Discussion: Reactions and Recommendations


5:45 pm - 7:00 pm