Vania Ruiz

Vania Ruiz

Detroit Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2020, Economic Opportunities Program

Youth Workforce Development Coordinator, Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, Detroit, Michigan

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Vania Ruiz is the Youth Workforce Development Coordinator at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (UNI), a community development organization based in Springwells, a 1.4 square mile neighborhood in Southwest Detroit that focuses on Youth Development, Land Use and Economic Development, and Education. She leads and oversees all youth employment programs, servicing over 400 youth through year-round employment, and summer employment through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. Vania is also leading the implementation of a Collective Impact Network that will develop a neighborhood collective impact strategy with organizations that provide wraparound support and career pathways to support opportunity youth in the neighborhood better. She has a strong history of bringing together partners to provide high-quality opportunities and resources that will connect and encourage youth to achieve long-term, economic success.

Vania Ruiz is a member of the Detroit Workforce Leadership Academy Class of 2020, 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

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