SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Saturday, June 10, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will host the first listening session of the newly established Latino Empowerment Advisory Council, formed under the leadership of Governor Maura T. Healey.

As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, STCC will provide a platform for community members to voice their concerns and ideas, aiming to address key issues affecting the Latino community in greater Springfield.

The event, scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will be held at the Top of Our City Conference Center Room in Scibelli Hall on the STCC campus. Welcoming individuals from all backgrounds, the session is expected to facilitate robust discussions on topics crucial to the Latino community, including prosperity, wellbeing, and equity. Josiane Martinez, chair of the council, expressed enthusiasm for engaging with the community and exploring potential solutions.

Governor Healey’s executive order in April established the 40-member advisory council, comprising influential Latino leaders from across the state. The council’s primary objective is to provide guidance to Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll on strategies to enhance economic opportunities and overall wellbeing for Massachusetts’ Latino communities. Key areas of focus include workforce development, access to quality education, affordable housing, health and food security, as well as representation of Latinos in state hiring and boards and commissions.

STCC President John B. Cook expressed his delight in hosting the Latino Empowerment Advisory Council and emphasized the college’s commitment to equity and access. As a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, STCC places significant importance on engaging in these vital discussions and considering a range of important subjects.

Following the session at STCC, the council has planned additional listening sessions across the state. These sessions will take place on June 13 in Lynn, June 17 in Lawrence, and June 20 in Worcester. In the coming months, the council intends to compile insights gathered from the community meetings and share them with the governor.

Governor Healey reiterated the council’s role in strengthening Massachusetts and emphasized the importance of dismantling systemic barriers while expanding access to education, job training, entrepreneurship, and affordability. The governor’s statement underlined the commitment to creating a more inclusive and prosperous future for all. Further details can be found on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Latino Empowerment website.