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Building Networks for Frontline Talent Development – Part 1

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Building Networks for Frontline Talent Development

Presented by Sarah Cacicio, Senior Project Director, Adult Learning, Digital Promise; Cherie LaCour-Duckworth, Vice President of Workforce Development, Urban League of Louisiana; Frank Gerdeman, Director of Adult Education, Lake Tahoe Community College, CA; and Nina Gonzales, Program Operations Director-Student Support Services, University of New Mexico, Taos

Sponsored by Digital Promise


Get a CE Certificate for this edLeader Panel Learn more.

Join us for Part 1 of this edLeader Panel series focused on building networks for frontline talent development.

It is increasingly critical to efficiently match job seekers and incumbent workers to available jobs. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 25 percent of all U.S. jobs were estimated to be at high risk of automation, especially among workers who perform routine tasks in frontline industries like retail, healthcare, and manufacturing. Today, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated these challenges for frontline workers. Now more than ever, they must be able to identify, share, and apply their skills to pursue career pathways.

In this edLeader Panel, Digital Promise partners with community leaders in adult education, higher education, and workforce development to share what it takes to spur a movement toward more effective collaboration and data sharing to better serve workers.

Digital Promise will share key findings from our new report, “Building Networks for Frontline Talent Development.” Panelists will set the framework for:

• How to establish a network of engaged stakeholders
• Using data to identify challenges
• Designing regional solutions for long-term worker outcomes

This edLeader Panel is intended for adult education and career service providers, higher education institutions, employers, and community leaders interested in building cross-sector partnerships to streamline service provision and advance opportunities for adult learners. This panel will be very informative for educators at all levels who are involved in college and career guidance, to help students make better choices about jobs for the future. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Register for Part 2 here: Building Networks for Frontline Talent Development – Part 2


Sarah CacicioAbout the Presenters

As Senior Project Director of Adult Learning Initiatives at Digital Promise, Sarah Cacicio leads work at the intersection of adult education, workforce development, and technology to advance equitable digital learning and life-sustaining career opportunities for adult learners. She is committed to collaborating closely with partner agencies and organizations to drive economic mobility for adults from marginalized communities. Prior to joining Digital Promise, Sarah worked to expand access to high school equivalency instruction, career and technical education, college preparation, and wraparound services for youth and adults in New York City’s Alternative Schools. Sarah’s previous research examined equity in instructional and assessment practices for multilingual learners. Sarah earned her M.A. in bilingual & bicultural education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Hispanic studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston as a first-generation college student. She is currently based in Washington, DC.


Cherie LaCour-DuckworthCherie LaCour-Duckworth is Vice President of Workforce Development for the Urban League of Louisiana and has over 30-years of experience in this field. She oversees the implementation of workforce strategies and works with the leadership team to help develop, design, and implement innovative workforce approaches to achieve Urban League’s mission. In 2014, Cherie received an award for Excellence in Workforce Development at the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr., Leadership Development Conference. In 2016, she received recognition from Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, for the completion of the City of New Orleans Civic Leadership Academy. In 2019, Cherie became a fellow and now an alum of Aspen Institute’s inaugural New Orleans Workforce Leadership Academy, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America. Cherie has a Bachelor of Science in business information systems and a Master of Management both from the University of Phoenix.


Frank GerdemanFrank Gerdeman is currently the Director of ADVANCE (serving the southern region of the Lake Tahoe Basin in California and Nevada) where they are building a fully integrated education and workforce development system from the ground up. This “new construction” includes innovative use of transition navigators, including the integration of digital platforms for delivery and case management, and designing true industry-college collaborative apprenticeships in culinary and coming soon, the first of its kind in ski lift maintenance. Frank has been involved with formal adult education for over 15 years in a variety of positions – basic skills instructor, learning center coordinator, and deputy regional manager of the largest program in Vermont. Prior to moving to South Lake Tahoe, he served as the State Director of Adult Education and Deputy Division Director with the Vermont Agency of Education where his duties included oversight of Adult Education, Career and Technical Education, Assessment, Title III (NCLB), and School Improvement. Frank has also served, and continues to serve, on a number of regional and national workgroups in the areas of adult education, assessment, and workforce development.


Nina GonzalesNina Feliz Gonzales is a lifelong learner and educator. She holds a master’s in leadership in ecology, culture, and learning from the Educational Policy, Foundations, and Administration Department at Portland State University. Her work focuses on alternative education models, creative pedagogy, and building support systems for struggling learners. She has worked across the western United States and overseas for programs that support the intersection of culture, learning, and personal growth, ranging from curriculum development, wilderness therapy and experiential learning, drug and alcohol treatment, and youth community centers. She is currently the Program Operations Director for Student Support Services at the University of New Mexico-Taos, bringing expertise from the field of Adult Education to meet the needs of a rural community college setting. Her team recently won multiple national recognitions for innovation in education and training for the project TaosHIVE, a rural job creation and training program in the form of a co-working office space that fosters small business support, online job training, and onsite UNM-Taos classes. She has taught, advised, coached, and counseled struggling learners for over 20 years.

Join the Career, Technical, and Adult Education community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital PromiseDigital Promise’s mission is to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn. We work at the intersection of research, education, and technology to reduce the digital literacy gap for learners of all ages.

Digital Promise


Tuesday, June 30, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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