AC Regent John Betancourt invited to moderate panel discussion in NYC

John Betancourt, a member of the Amarillo College Board of Regents, was pleased when his application was approved so that he may attend a NALEO Policy Institute conference during the last week of April in New York City.

NALEO, in which Betancourt holds membership, is the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and the limited-capacity conference is titled “Economic Mobility: Building the Infrastructure of Opportunity for Latinos.”

What delighted Betancourt even more, however, was a call he received just days after receiving his acceptance letter. The caller not only asked Betancourt if he would be willing to moderate a panel discussion at the Institute, on April 28, but would he also please accept an expenses-paid travel scholarship to New York City in order to do so?

“I was super excited,” said Betancourt, who will moderate a session called ‘Critical Sector Strategy: Broadband.’

“This is a wonderful opportunity on a very distinguished platform to not only represent Amarillo College, but to tell the story of how our Culture of Caring is improving the lives of students, and about how our initiatives to improve workforce outcomes are impacting our economic vitality,” he said.

Betancourt says the responses he submitted on his application piqued the interest of the NALEO conference organizers. On it he described AC’s proactive approach to improving workforce outcomes within the community, pointing out that 32.59 percent of Amarillo residents are Latino. He also referenced the Innovation Outpost and the work-based learning model employed at AC, where 48.1 percent of the student body is Latino.

“I explained how the Upskill Amarillo initiative at our Innovation Outpost is laser focused on areas like cloud computing, cybersecurity and full-stack software development,” Betancourt said. “I also pointed out how our city is actively expanding broadband services, particularly in the Latino community.

“They were clearly intrigued, and so I’m very much looking forward to going.”

Established in 1976, NALEO is a 501(c)(4) non-partisan membership organization whose constituency includes the nation’s more than 6,800 elected and appointed Latino officials.