Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Inc. has announced that Carla Garces and Norma Gallegos Valles are the new co-directors of the Latino Academy of Workforce Development.
The dynamic duo will share the responsibility of running the fast-growing organization that creates pathways to improved education and employment for the Latino community in a safe, culturally competent environment.
They will take over for Baltazar De Anda-Santana, now the Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement for United Way, who helped lead the Latino Academy of Workforce Development (LAWD) into becoming the largest program of the Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Inc. De Anda-Santana also coordinated LAWD’s large volunteer force, as well as created and oversaw LAWD’s numerous classes and events.
Carla Garces has been the director of operations since December 2015 and helped formalize procedures and organize the flourishing academy. A former public school teacher in a high accountability school, she has experience managing large sets of data and focusing on outcomes. Carla will direct the employment programming for the organization.
Norma Gallegos was hired as the employment coordinator and has demonstrated her leadership with students and employers. She has a strong background in community involvement and leadership. She is a journalist for a local Spanish newspaper, Voz Latina, and she provides a keen sense of the transformational process and development happening in the Latino community. Gallegos will direct the educational programming for the organization.
Their shared experiences have prepared them to take over for former De Anda-Santana, whose vision and community leadership has secured Latino Academy’s place into the workforce and educational systems in Madison. The two new leaders will continue to ensure that students are successfully integrated into the economic and educational systems in Dane County.