Elba Aranda-Suh leads the National Latino Education Institute (formerly Spanish Coalition for Jobs, Inc.) as its Executive Director. The National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization founded in Chicago forty two years ago. NLEI has served generations of Latino families enabling economic empowerment through comprehensive industry-driven job training, career placement and supportive services that include capacity building in technology, financial literacy and worker health and wellness. NLEI's mission is to enhance the quality of life for Latinos through educational, vocational and employment services and through advocacy, thus enabling the achievement of economic independence.
Ms. Aranda-Suh is a transformational leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and pragmatic approach to community development and works tirelessly in forging opportunities that develop, strengthen and afford meaningful systemic change for the Latino community. She is an accomplished Workforce Development professional with more than 17 years in leadership roles. Since 1999, she has led NLEI in creating and delivering award winning and nationally recognized career education programs for the Latino community.
Ms. Aranda-Suh is a national and regional content expert in Latino career forecasting and employment trends. She has a successful record in designing and launching innovative and high-performing market-driven programs and economic advancement initiatives for Latinos. Recognizing the link between education, employment, and self-sufficiency, she has dedicated her career to serving her community by developing unique systems that directly affect economic sustainability and community development. Programs she has pioneered have been used as models for replication and have fueled advocacy for increased awareness for culturally competent curricula for multiple generations of underserved Latinos.
She has a reputation for forming and mobilizing dynamic partnerships with broad industries to ensure a competitive Latino workforce and has worked collaboratively with a myriad of businesses in attaining and/or introducing equality and diversity initiatives. Throughout her career, Ms. Aranda-Suh has emphasized the need for lifelong learning in her quest for positioning Latinos for greater career advancement. To this end, she has been instrumental in the vision and implementation of joint ventures that afford seamless access to higher education for underserved urban Latino populations.
She has served on boards of directors and executive committees for several community-based organizations including: The Latino Council on the Media (LCOM), Illinois League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National LULAC Educational Center, Maria High School, and People's Music School and was a founding board member of the Pilsen/Little Village Information Center and served on the Michael Reese Hospital Advisory Council. She has been recognized by corporations such as Citibank, Pepsi-Cola, Lucent Technologies and the National Diversity Council for her community leadership.
Ms. Aranda-Suh represents a new generation of Latina leaders that honors and preserves grassroots history building upon and forging the future with new initiatives relevant to today's emerging socio-economic and workforce trends. She views economic independence as an essential component of family stability and believes that strong families are the cornerstone of healthy communities. She enjoys introducing creative and sustainable strategies to inspire students, employees, volunteers and families to not only aspire to reach their full potential, but to also "pay it forward" to those who need it most.