Natalie Vesga

Natalie Vesga

Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, Economic Opportunities Program

Director of Literacy and Workforce, PODER, Chicago, Illinois

Natalie Vesga is the Director of Literacy and Workforce at PODER. PODER is an immigrant integration center that provides tuition-free English classes and workforce training programs for adult immigrants in the Chicagoland area. Ms. Vesga provides leadership, direction and accountability in the development of program goals and objectives. A central aspect of the work is to ensure that students transition successfully from level to level and program to job placement. Ms. Vesga also works to foster partnership development with local businesses, organizations, and educational institutions who can serve as site locations, referral sources, and “expert resources” for students around specific job and life skills.

Ms. Vesga earned her master’s degree in social work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University.

Natalie Vesga is a member of the Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at