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Jessie is a highly qualified community development professional with more than 15 years of experience in community reinvestment and economic development in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. His passion for working on solutions which address salient community needs is expressed through creative problem solving and conceptualizing innovative solutions. As Executive Director of the Miguel Contreras Foundation (MCF), Jessie is oversees the day-to-day operations of the Foundation.
Jessie’s professional experience includes managing community development efforts for Citibank and Bank of the West. During his tenure at both institutions, Jessie’s leadership led to the development of a financial coaching collaborative serving re-entry populations and the implementation of a Program Related Investment (PRI) strategy for Bank of the West Foundation.
Jessie is the son of economic refugees from northern Mexico and was raised in the Coachella Valley. He enjoys reading, cycling and spending time with family. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from the University of California, Irvine and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He formally served on the board of directors of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition and LISC-LA.
As MCF’s Operations Officer, Margarita is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and approaches for organizational and capacity development. Margarita has over fourteen years of experience in the operations management of public health research and adult programming in Los Angeles. Prior to joining MCF, Margarita spent eight years as the Program Manager at Labor Community Services – a partnership between the United Way and the LA Fed. In this role, she oversaw the operations and management of emergency services and the collection and distribution of 1.6 million pounds (a national record) of food to local and regional pantries. She also helped manage engagement between the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and non-affiliated unions.
Margarita is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, that eventually were able to obtain union jobs in Los Angeles. Her father a Teamster union member for over 30 years, instilled in her a strong work-ethic. She can attest that if not for her father having a good paying union job with great benefits, she most likely would not have been able to have the support to complete her higher education. Which lead her down the path of helping other union members through adult programming and assistance. Margarita holds a Master in Business Administration from DeVry University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California.
When she’s not at work, Margarita enjoys spending her free time with her family.
Labor One Stop Center Director
Esther Landin is a Workforce Development professional with 10 years of experience developing and implementing workforce preparation and career pathways programs in order to reduce the middle skills gap, decrease the unemployment rate of youth and young adults, and increase access to education, training, and employment for individuals with barriers to employment and education as a means for upward social mobility, achieving social justice, and equity.
She has collaborated with various community partners in nonprofits, adult education, community colleges, community-based organizations, and government agencies in order to create a strategic and comprehensive wraparound workforce development and career services system that helps individuals enter career pathways in high-demand industries. As a speaker, has presented on various Workforce Development topics on serving special populations including youth and young adults, formerly incarcerated, immigrants, and individuals with disabilities. She has previously served on nonprofit boards and participated in numerous industry advisory committees. Her experience also includes grant writing, monitoring and compliance, organizational planning, employer engagement, human centered design, and curriculum development.
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Armando Loza is a strategic, innovative, compassionate leader with over 20 years of workforce development experience. Always serving as a leading change agent, Armando has a keen knowledge in project management, program implementation, compliance, and an understanding of the importance of providing world-class service. Armando has managed over 32 million dollars in public and private workforce development funds.
As a Director of the Rancho Dominguez AJCC, he was responsible for the administration of all workforce development programs for adults and youth as well as the coordination of activities, events and services with onsite partners including the Employment Development Department, the County Probation Department, the Department of Rehabilitation, the Armed Forces Services Corporation/ Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the USC School of Social Work, Five Keys Charter School, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and Compton Adult School. Armando was responsible for staff supervision, goal-setting, performance monitoring, community outreach, resource leveraging, relationship building, and adherence to policies.
While growing up in Southeast Los Angeles, Armando Loza developed an interest in and a commitment to assisting individuals to overcome barriers to employment. At the age of 14, he enrolled in a youth program operated by Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services. While attending California State University Los Angeles, he continued to serve the community while gaining a thorough understanding of the workforce development field.
Armando has volunteered to coordinate the CCD’s participation in United Way’s Annual Home Walk. Believing that a strong career path begins with a healthy lifestyle, he also volunteers at the University of Southern California Health Campus to develop in-home exercise prescription programs to address the challenges posed by childhood obesity. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Social Entrepreneurship at USC’s Marshall School of Business.
Workforce Development Program Coordinator
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Dorian is an experienced workforce development professional with more than 5 years of experience in job readiness, job placement, and career success. As Workforce Development Program Coordinator of the Miguel Contreras Foundation (MCF), Dorian is responsible for connecting program participants with employer-sponsored apprenticeship training opportunities.
Prior to joining MCF, Dorian worked with Friends Outside Los Angeles County in a variety of roles including Job Specialist, Case Manager, and Job Developer to find and retain sustainable employment opportunities for individuals returning from incarceration.
His passionate advocacy for individuals and communities affected by the U.S. prison and immigration systems is grounded in his own experience with the criminal justice system. He is married to an amazing Mexican immigrant woman and is the father of 6 children. Dorian is a recipient of a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles and Council District 9 for his contributions to the City of Los Angeles.
HUGO IVAN SALAZAR
Director of Worker Education and Engagement/Legal Counsel
Hugo brings over a decade of labor and immigration experience. He was a ChangeLawyers fellow and staff attorney at Al Otro Lado, a bi-national human rights and legal service provider. While at Al Otro Lado, he helped represent clients in deportation proceedings and and helped create programs and litigation that assisted thousands of asylum seekers. With the help of his colleagues, Hugo received the first change of venue, bond, and termination motions granted of the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP). With the assistance of the ACLU and pro bono law firms, Hugo was co-counsel to the first writ of habeas applied to the MPP program to release asylum seeker families from detention. These processes were replicated in other immigration courts throughout the border. Prior to his time at Al Otro Lado, Hugo was the Deputy Director at Pacoima Beautiful and Policy Director of the Orange County Labor Federation where he assisted Orange County labor unions and elected officials develop policies and projects that create good paying jobs. Hugo was a former U.S. State Department Fulbright and Coro Public Affairs Fellow in the Republic of Colombia and Los Angeles, California, respectively. Hugo obtained his J.D. from Chapman University School of Law and his BA in Political Science and International Studies from the University of California, Irvine. Hugo spends his free time with his wife and two children.