The OIC of South Florida Middle Class Summit was a trememdous sucess! Community members and leaders from the public and private sectors all joined together in a two-day conversation about the state of the middle class. OIC deeply thanks all of our supporters and the many presenters and attendees.
The conversation is only beginning and OIC of South Florida
will continue to be a part of it.
Newton Sanon, President & CEO, OIC of South Florida
OIC-SFL Middle Class Summit:
Building, Elevating and Sustaining the Middle Class
Click HERE to see photos and videos from the event!
A strong show of support and commitment for strengthening America's middle class was visible on October 17th & 18th at the OIC of South Florida Middle Class Summit, where over 300 representatives of national and local thought, community, education, business and government leaders converged at the 
Pictured from Left to Right: 
Jose Felix Diaz - Florida State Rep. Dist. 116; 
Newton Sanon - President & CEO, OIC of South Florida; 
Cicero Osceola - Seminole Tribal Council (Big Cypress Representative); 
Jean Monestime - Chairman, Miami-Dade County Commission; 
Andrew J. Bowers Jr. - Seminole Tribal Council (Brighton Representative); 
W. George Allen - OIC of South Florida Board Chair; 
Beatrice Louissaint - President & CEO, Florida State Minority Supplier 
Development Council
Intensive dialogue amongst education and business leaders focused on "THE EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT ECOSYSTEM" and how business and education can and are working together to strengthen the pipeline to meet the growing needs of employers for higher skilled employees.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Rick Beasley - Executive Director, CareerSource South Florida;
Dr. Henry Fernandez - Chancellor & CEO, University of Ft. Lauderdale /
Bishop, Faith Center Ministries;
J. David Armstrong, Jr. - President, Broward College
Bob Crawford - Director, Atlantic Technical College & Technical High School
(Moderated by Mildred Coyne - Executive Director of Workforce Education & Economic Development, Broward College)
J. David Armstrong, Jr. - President, Broward College
Key members of the business community discussed, the role employers and business leaders are playing in, "TAKING  CARE OF BUSINESS" by engaging innovative collaborative approaches to strengthen the pool of qualified workers. Strategies include internship experiences being championed in Broward and Miami-Dade County, as well as expanding scholarship opportunities provided by Florida Blue as noted by Dr. Penny Shaffer, Market President of Florida Blue and Board Chair of Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance.
Additionally, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, who hosted the summit in partnership with OIC-SFL, and are fully invested in growing the economy and expanding workforce development opportunities. Mr. James Allen, Seminole Gaming CEO, pledged to collaborate on an employment and business opportunity event within the next 90 days. 
cb2cbb02-86a5-40c0-8b21-de9edb72856d.jpgPictured from Left to Right:
Dr. Penny Shaffer - Market President at Florida Blue 
and Board Chair, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance;
Larry Williams - President and CEO, The Beacon Council Miami;
James Donnelly - Board Chair, Broward Workshop; 
James Allen - CEO, Seminole Gaming
(Moderated by Richard Berman - Dean of the Patel College of Global Sustainability)
The panel on "CULTURE, WORKPLACE DIVERSITY AND TEAMING," shared how access, opportunity and inclusivity of the diverse cultures and global perspectives are informing, transforming and strengthening the workplace.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Jean Monestime - Chairman, Miami-Dade County Commission;
Beatrice Louissaint - President & CEO, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council
Jose F. Diaz - State Representative Dist. 116 Miami-Dade County / Akerman LLP Esq.
Leroy Jones - President, Neighbors and Neighbors Association
(Moderated by Katherine J. Sosa, Senior Associate of Neil Katz and Associates)
A hearty dialogue on the "QUALITY OF LIFE AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT" challenges that are impacting the elevation into or sustaining of the middle class lifestyle was exchanged amongst the panel, including actively breaking barriers to employment as expressed by Jacqueline Freeman, Unit Chief, Reintegration of Ex-Offenders, U.S. Department of Labor.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Jacqueline Freeman - U.S. Department of Labor
Cindy Arenberg Seltzer - President & CEO, Children's Services Council of Broward
Nan Rich - Chair, Coordinating Council of Broward
Pastor Wayne Lomax - Lead Pastor, The Fountain of New Life Ministries
(Moderated by Donavan Lee-Sin, Community and Neighborhood Services Officer at The Children's Trust)
The TOOLS component of the summit dug deep into the promising "Techniques, Opportunities, Orchestration, Linkages and Strategy" that practitioners can and are applying to derive solutions that promote the stability of the middle class. The areas covered included; strengthening the education and training pathways through community-based and collegiate partnerships and innovative approaches to increasing the attainment of industry recognized credentials to address the skills gaps.  Attendees gained increased understanding about how to promote stability through social enterprise and how Nonprofits and workforce development partnerships can expand opportunities in support of building a dynamic workforce through Workforce Legislation (WIOA). 
           James Allen         
 CEO, Seminole Gaming
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Grand Ballroom
Why is OIC of South Florida and a host of community leaders from the business, education, faith based, and government concerned with the Building, Elevating and Sustaining the Middle Class?  Newton Sanon, President and CEO of OIC of South Florida and President of the Presidents Association for the over 38 OIC nationally shared that 
"OIC, founded by Reverend Leon H. Sullivan since 1964, was established to train and equip individuals with the skills needed to earn a living and strengthen their pathway to economic self-sufficiency. The mission and need for OIC's remain relevant today and will play an instrumental role for the strengthening of America's workforce. This summit was a pivotal opportunity to elevate the work of Six Pillars Broward and One Community One Goal Miami. Collectively, we will continue to move from talk to action and take a hard look at what the United Way ALICE report reveals about the challenges facing those aspiring to the middle class, the Prosperity Study conducted by FIU indicates and national studies are saying about our economic realities and possibilities. It is through intentional commitment that we will collectively strengthen our middle class."
Frederica Wilson 
Florida's 24th District
  Eric M. Seleznow
   Deputy Assistant Secretary
    Employment & Training Admin.
   U.S. Department of Labor
Alcee L. Hastings
Florida's 20th District 
   Ted Deutch
   Florida's 21st District
Oscar Braynon II
Florida State Senator
Florida's 36th District
A highly engaging panel of millennials presented their perspectives during the "CREATING YOUR BLUEPRINT! EMERGING LEADERS LAUNCHPAD." The Emerging Leaders Panel focused on the Millennial view of the world and the unique set of struggles their generation is facing as they enter and, in many cases, redefine the American workforce. The concept of the Middle Class means something entirely different when viewed through the lens of their experiences. Much of the conversation focused on finding a balance between members of the intergenerational workforce through recognition of the value of each group's understanding of the meaning of work and how to blend those into workplace environments where all benefit.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Adriana Fazzano Ficano - Chief of Staff & Associate Vice President for 
Corporate Relations, Broward College;
Maggie Gunther - Director of Communications and Programs, 
Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance;
Binsen Gonzalez - Singular Sound
Rebekah Monson - New Tropic
Dr. Pandwe Gibson - Founder, EcoTech
(Moderated by James Knapp - Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships, Office of Engagement, Florida International University)
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