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Houston's Opportunity: Reconnecting Disengaged Youth and Young Adults to Strengthen Houston's Economy

 

Panelists

Lili Allen
Associate Vice President, Reconnection Strategies and Designs
Jobs for the Future

Lili Allen is Associate Vice President, Reconnection Designs, at Jobs for the Future. She oversees and drives strategy for the organization’s work with states, regions, and communities that are building quality pathways to post-secondary credentials and career-track employment for off-track and disconnected youth. Ms. Allen directs Jobs for the Future’s partnership with the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund and the provision of technical assistance to OYIF communities, and communities in the 100,000 Opportunities initiative; leads JFF’s Opportunity Works Social Innovation Fund initiative of seven communities building pathways to post-secondary credentials for opportunity youth, and in particular for boys and men of color; and leads JFF’s partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) initiative for system-involved youth. She provides leadership for strategic consultation to communities in developing schools and programs for off-track and out-of-school youth characterized by rigorous instruction, accelerated learning, and strong student supports, with clear pathways into and through post-secondary education and training. She oversees JFF’s research and product development on pathways for off-track and disconnected youth, and leads tool development addressing effective strategies to reengage and support these populations.

Lili came to JFF with over twenty years of experience building school and community partnerships to improve outcomes for struggling students and out-of-school youth. Her publications include: Crossing the Divide: An Emerging Typology of Post-secondary Bridging for Opportunity Youth (with Cheryl Almeida); How to Help Struggling Students Meet Common Core Standards: New York City Department of Education’s Comprehensive Approach (with Cecilia Le); Back on Track to College: A Texas School District Leverages State Policy to Put Dropouts on the Path to Success (with Rebecca Wolfe); Mobilizing a Cross-Sector Collaborative for Systemic Change: Lessons from Project U-Turn; and Bringing Off-Track Youth into the Center of High School Reform: Lessons and Tools from Leading Communities. Ms. Allen holds a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

Dr. Allatia Harris
Vice Chancellor, Strategic Initiatives, Workforce Development, Community Relations and Diversity
San Jacinto College

Dr. Allatia Harris was named Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives – Workforce, Community and Diversity in March 2013, after serving successfully for five years as the president of the North Campus of San Jacinto College. In her current role as Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, she works with business and industry leaders to insure that San Jacinto College workforce programs are aligned with the varied industry needs of the greater Houston region. She chairs the Workforce Development Task Force of the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region, serves on the Workforce Development Committee of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association, and works with the Greater Houston Partnership’s “UpSkill Houston” efforts. She serves with an array of community organizations that increase access and opportunity for San Jacinto College’s diverse student body. She is a board member of the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas, the Greens Bayou Coalition, and Bay Area Homeless Services. She is the Past President of the North Shore Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Nationally, Dr. Harris is the immediate past president of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. She serves on the Implementation Team for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Twenty-first Century Initiative, is a member of the AACC Advisory Committee on Leadership Initiatives, and serves on the AACC Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. She has recently begun work with the League for Innovation’s Faculty Voices Initiative, designed to advance College Completion.

Dr. Harris holds a doctorate in educational administration with a specialization in community college leadership from the University of Texas where she has been recognized as a Distinguished Graduate. She has pursued doctoral studies at the University of Southern California in communication, and earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in speech communication, both from the University of North Texas. Dr. Harris came to San Jacinto College from the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), where she began her career as a faculty member and later served in a variety of roles at several colleges and in the system office.

Charles Rotramel
CEO, Houston: reVision

Charles Rotramel has worked with at risk and juvenile justice youth in Houston for over thirty years. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Houston: reVision, a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring and builds positive peer culture for at risk and adjudicated youth throughout the Greater Houston area. Charles is a native Houstonian and a cum laude graduate of Rice University, where he was awarded the Weber-Durkheim Award for Excellence in Sociology for his Senior Honors Thesis on juvenile corrections. Charles previously served as the founder and Director of Youth Advocates, Inc., a Houston-based nonprofit that built a strong youth community around Hip Hop Culture for more than 15 years. Charles is also active in the Houston soccer community and has won two state championships as a coach.

Houston: reVision is dedicated to helping transform the lives of kids on the edge in Harris County by connecting them to caring adults and to positive peers, and by advocating for their unique educational needs. reVision was created in 2011 through a groundbreaking partnership between St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, and the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department and utilizes a multi-disciplinary, individualized, research-based model. During 2016, reVision engaged more than 340 volunteers and has served 700 youth.

Mike Temple
Director, Gulf Coast Workforce Board-Workforce Solutions

Mike Temple is the Director for the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and its operating affiliate Workforce Solutions – which together form the public workforce system in the 13-county Houston-Galveston region of southeast Texas. With about $200 million in resources, the system helps employers meet their human resource needs and individuals build careers. During the most recent year, Workforce Solutions helped more than 26,000 businesses find qualified workers to fill job openings and more than 350,000 people get a job, keep a job, or get a better job. Mike participates in various policy groups at the state and national levels and has a particular interest in public program performance and continuous improvement. Currently he serves as the Executive Directors Council chair for the Texas Association of Workforce Boards. He has taught as adjunct faculty with the University of Houston’s masters-level program in public administration. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.