EDWARDSVILLE – The Latino Roundtable of Southwestern Illinois (LRT), The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), SIUE’s Office of Online Services and Educational Outreach, and sponsors Busey Bank, FCB Banks, AJ Legal Services, and Revity Credit Union, along with additional partners will host the Immigrants in Our Midst Conference on Friday, September 22. The conference focuses on how to better serve the U.S. Immigrant Workforce. The event will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at SIUE’s Morris University Center Conference Center.

SIUE alumnus Raffi Mikaelian and LRT member is leading the coordination of this annual event that includes presentations by regional specialists in the fields of immigration law, immigrant demographics, Latino outreach, employment services and state resources. Professionals and students, who seek to increase their involvement with immigrant communities in and around St. Louis, are expected to attend.

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“We’ve attended and heard many inspiring presentations at the conference,” said Latino Roundtable Co-Chairs Jo Ann Di Maggio May and Danayka Saavedra Berrocal. “Dedicated professionals share their stories and offer insight that can be both educational and relevant to current trends.”

Past conference participant, human resource consultant and president of HRC Consultants, LLC, Sonia Granados, says the SIUE supported conference is valuable not only for immigrants, but also for professionals who have been working in the international community for years.

“Advocating, supporting and providing educational outreach for our immigrant community is the foundation of our nation,” Granados continued. “Immigrants in Our Midst introduces and provides an avenue for networking and resource opportunities to dedicated service providers who are committed to helping immigrants living among us”.

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Keynote speaker this year is Betsy Cohen, executive director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, known for her dedicated advocacy work in the St. Louis Immigrant Community. Other conference speakers will include: Tony Fuhrmann, Madison County Workforce Development and Lee Reese, St. Clair County Workforce Development; Caroline Sanchez Crozier, LatinX Digital Leaders Now, Attorney German A. Gonzalez Herrerra, Riz Khan and Farah Alam, Little Angels Foundation, Martha Garcia Kampen, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The event is open to the public and costs $40, which includes parking and lunch. CEUs are also available upon request. To register, visit bit.ly/3lrHWO5. For additional assistance with registration or questions, contact Cynthia Cobetto in SIUE’s Office of Educational Outreach at 618-650-2164 or cgorsag@siue.edu.

The Latino Roundtable (LRT) Southwestern Illinois is a group of representatives from community organizations, businesses, colleges, universities, agencies and many more. We have a unified purpose of serving the Latino community in the St. Louis Metro East Area. LRT’s Mission is to work together to develop and expand available resources of social services to the Latino community of Metro East area. Contact the Latino Roundtable at thelatinoroundtable@gmail.com

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists existing companies as well as new businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a no-cost service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining jobs and encouraging capital investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large. To learn how the SBDC can help your small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or sbdcedw@gmail.com.

Latino Roundtable of Southwestern Illinois 2023 Immigrants in Our Midst Conference.

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