past event
Employment and Jobs

Workforce Leadership Café #1 — Pima Community College + Center for the Future of Arizona




In Arizona, a unique partnership between Pima Community College and the Center for the Future of Arizona is investing in leaders of the workforce development system as a key leverage point for change in the system. The Southern Arizona Workforce Leadership Academy brings together workforce practitioners in order to strengthen the leadership pipeline, deepen collaborative relationships locally, and invest in developing professionals who lead our workforce organizations.

This conversation with Amanda Abens of Pima Community College and Holly Kurtz and Tennille Penaloza-Hagen of the Center for the Future of Arizona will explore the role of leadership development in the workforce development ecosystem, the challenges of talent development in such an interdisciplinary field, and what this partnership between a community college and a statewide “do-tank” has the potential to accomplish.

  • Amanda Abens
  • Holly Kurtz
  • Tennille Penaloza-Hagen
  • Sheila Maguire
  • Dee Wallace

More Events in the Workforce Leadership Café
About the Workforce Leadership Café

The field of workforce development helps job seekers enter and advance in the workforce, and it helps employers improve their hiring, training, and advancement practices. To optimize local workforce systems, practitioners must dismantle silos and create coherent systems and services that balance the needs of both workers and businesses. Can the workforce development field itself set an example as it strives for equitable economic mobility?

In the blog post “The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes: Why Workforce Professionals Need Their Own Good Jobs Strategy,” authors Dee Wallace and Sheila Maguire — senior fellows with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program — refer to a pre-pandemic survey revealing that half of workforce professionals in New York City earned less than the city’s median wage, and half of those surveyed considered leaving their jobs within the year. That same study found that people of color made up 80% of the city’s workforce development staff, yet higher earners and organizational leaders were disproportionately white.

Let’s explore how the workforce development field can be more reflective of the change it seeks to cultivate. Join us this fall and winter in the “Workforce Leadership Café” for a series of conversations with leaders who are contributing their talents and insights to this rich field of practice. Guests include sponsors of local Workforce Leadership Academies and others who are exploring talent development and job quality in workforce development.

Learn more at


Event information
Thu Nov 16, 2023
4:00pm - 4:45pm EDT