Latin American Visitors Explore Workforce Development at Delgado
February 20, 2018
Visiting educators from Mexico, Bolivia, Honduras, Cuba, Chile, Peru and Guatemala met on Feb. 15 with Delgado Community College Workforce Development, Institutional Advancement and Technical Education leaders at the Delgado Maritime and Industrial Training Facility in New Orleans East.
Delgado Chancellor Joan Davis and Vice Chancellor Arlanda Williams welcomed the visitors and led the discussion, which was organized by the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council, a non-profit that arranges professional meetings and cultural activities for international visitors sent to New Orleans through the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership program.
The seven international visitors from Central and South America were accompanied by three interpreters. After a guided tour of the Delgado Maritime and Industrial Training Facility led by Senior Director Rick Schwab, the visitors met with the Delgado representatives for several hours. Following introductions and brief presentations by members of the Delgado group, a roundtable discussion and a question and answer session took place.
Schwab explained to the delegates that the Delgado Maritime and Industrial Training Facility attracts global interest. More than 100,000 students from industries around the world have received training at the facility since the 1970s, he said.
Executive Director David Payton of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Delgado Community College engaged the group in a discussion of small business development and other workforce initiatives in the New Orleans region. His program has provided free training sponsored by the Goldman Sachs Foundation to hundreds of regional small business owners since 2011.
Interim Director Maria Andrade discussed her work with the Scale-Up Southeast Louisiana (Scale-Up SELA) program, which has administered $2.4 million in U.S. Department of Labor grant funding to train 1,150 participants for jobs in the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors.
Vice Chancellor Williams gave an overview of workforce training at Delgado and explained how it intersects with the academic, college-credit side of Delgado Community College. Workforce development training is usually non-credit and industry-focused, she explained.
In response to the presentations and discussion, several of the international visitors expressed their desire to work cooperatively with Delgado on mutually beneficial new opportunities. Williams thanked them and promised to help facilitate the new endeavors.
"The delegation has reported to me that the meeting at Delgado was the best meeting during their entire trip in the United States," said NOCDC Program Officer Svetlana Pizzati. The visitors arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 29 and departed on Feb. 16.
The Department of State has outlined specific objectives for the International Visitor Leadership program:
- Explore the role of small business owners in driving economic development, democratization and stabilization;
- Examine the contributions of African‑Americans and Indigenous peoples to the community, the economy, education and politics;
- Discuss national, state, and local government policies and legal mechanisms that advance access to economic opportunities highlighting the evolution of the job market in the United States and how higher education and vocational schools prepare individuals to join the workforce; and
- Explore strategies to promote public‑private partnerships that advance education and business opportunities.
Following are the members of the visiting international delegation and their affiliations:
Ms. Caren Paola Yanez Inofuentes
Executive Director, Centro AfroBoliviano para el Desarrollo Integral y Comunitario
Mr. Jean Claude Pierre Paul
Social Worker, Migrants and Refugee Office, Municipality of Quilicura
Ms. Marthadela Tamayo Gonzalez
Human Rights Advocate, Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial
Mr. Erick Estuardo Hernandez Rodriguez
Commission Member, Presidential Commission Against Discrimination and Racism
Ms. Mirna Waleska Lopez Castillo
School Principal, Centro Educacion Basica Marco Aurelio Soto
Ms. Rosalinda Molina Salgado
Projects Coordinator, Producers Solidarity Honey
Ms. Lidia Gonzales Lopez
Project Manager, Casa de la Mujer
International visitors from Latin America and their interpreters are pictured with Delgado Community College Workforce Development, Institutional Advancement and Technical Education leaders at the Delgado Maritime and Industrial Training Facility in New Orleans East.