Alexis Villanueva is a business program specialist at the Workforce Partnership. Here she tells a little about herself, both personally and professionally.
What is a typical day like for you?
It really depends on the day, week or quarter in the business services department. This week, I have been focused on building and nurturing my relationships with tech employers and assessing their current hiring needs, matching the needs with labor market data and connecting the data to our current talent pool in our TechHire program.
Generally, my job is to build relationships with employers, community partners and stakeholders to learn of their services and needs then work together to fill in gaps where needed in the business community.
If you had $30,000 to donate to a workforce development program, what would you want done with it?
There are so many causes and issues that are important to me in workforce development. I’m particularly passionate about leadership development for incumbent workers, but more specifically leadership training for Latina women who want to enter into management and executive level positions.
According to Leanin.org, for every 100 men that are promoted to management positions only 68 Latina women are promoted, which results in more Latina women staying at entry level positions. Even more astounding is the pay gap that exist for those managers. Currently, a white male manager will make 39% more than a Latina woman doing the same job.
Helping to train and mentor more Latina women into management level positions will not only help families, but research shows that businesses benefit greatly from a diverse workforce. At the end of the day, workforce development wants to see business and people succeed.
What do you like about working in workforce development?
In a very special way, workforce development touches an aspect of our educational system, economic development system, business community, and all the concerns and issues that affect the residents of the community.
Having worked in workforce development for over 6 years, it’s been exciting to learn how to navigate these systems, build relationships and create collaborations for the betterment of the community. Most of my time has been committed to giving a voice or a new perspective to those communities who may not have had the opportunity in the past, and that truly has been rewarding to witness.