Conference Program

View our conference program here.

Conference Schedule

The conference schedule is available here

Attendees can expect a wide range of content that will lift up solutions to end chronic unemployment, support the adoption of best and promising employment practices for the people who need them most, and advance policy solutions and systems change for addressing chronic unemployment and poverty. The event will also highlight efforts in Chicago and across the country to improve job quality for low-wage workers.  

Looking beyond the conference, Heartland Alliance will unveil a federal policy platform and proposal for a new Presidential administration focused on ensuring that America is #ANationThatWorks for all and that everyone who wants to work has the tools and resources to do so.

Lifting Up Solutions to End Chronic Unemployment

The conference will shine a spotlight on the efforts of dozens of community-based organizations, cities, and states that are working to end chronic unemployment. The event will highlight innovative efforts to address chronic unemployment among populations such as opportunity youth including youth of color and youth experiencing homelessness, homeless jobseekers, people returning from incarceration, and other low-income, unemployed populations. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in site visits with innovative employment initiatives serving individuals facing barriers to employment in Chicago.

Supporting the Adoption of Best & Promising Employment Practices  

The event will support the adoption of best and promising practices in addressing the employment, service, financial empowerment, and career pathways interests and needs of individuals facing barriers to employment. Event content will be drawn from Heartland Alliance’s vast collection of resources (including the work of our National Transitional Jobs Network, National Center on Employment & Homelessness, and B.MORE Initiative), applied research, innovative direct services, and the efforts of our stakeholders across the country. The event will leverage expertise from our national partners in specialties such as transitional jobs, social enterprise, IPS and other earn and learn approaches; racial and economic equity; corrections and reentry; homelessness and housing; the application of therapeutic techniques in service provision; sector initiatives; adult basic education; vocational rehabilitation; and many others. Considerations for serving specific populations facing barriers to employment will be featured.

Advancing Local, State, and Federal Policy & Systems Change

The conference will highlight federal policies and funding streams that can be leveraged to support the employment and service needs of people facing barriers to employment and provide practical ideas for implementation. The event will also lift up innovative ways communities and states are leveraging resources, shifting policy, collaborating across systems, and advancing campaigns to help ensure jobseekers facing barriers to employment can succeed in work. Heartland Alliance will leverage its ability to bring a cross-section of local, state, and federal agency officials from across the country to the table and draw on the insights of national policy experts, thought leaders, researchers, and organizations that are moving the needle to open doors to employment and economic opportunity for jobseekers facing barriers to employment.