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April 13, 2007



FROM:          Byron Zuidema
                   BYRON ZUIDEMA
                   Regional Administrator

SUBJECT:  Workforce Information Driving Regional Economies, June 19-20

1.          Purpose: To announce a regional conference that furthers the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) framework of fostering economic growth in a region by identifying and utilizing local area resources. To begin making new and strengthen existing connections for workforce information activities to spur the creation of innovations as embodied in the WIRED infrastructure. To develop new expectations of workforce information that would make it both easier to access and use in comprehensive and creative ways, and that would be applied in regional economies by a broad array of entities including educators, economic developers, researchers, and private sector concerns.  The conference aims to provide leadership, support and tools needed to transform local areas into regional economies.

2.         Background: The global economy of today requires changes to the workforce system of yesterday, including new and dynamic workforce information. ETA will soon award the third round (Generation III) of WIRED grants throughout the nation, and related innovations are also occurring in other disciplines such as Education and Economic Development. This event will enable networking across many disciplines that use/produce workforce and economic information, as well as learning new tools and their applications.

3.         Target Audience: The conference and workshops are designed for both leaders and experts interested in creating the new talent development system for Region 5 state staff, such as: Workforce Information Directors, State Leaders from Workforce Investment, Economic Development, Education, and WIRED Grantees.  States are encouraged to invite a total of 10 participants from these disciplines to attend this meeting.

We encourage State teams to participate in this conference. Workforce innovation requires new networks to be built at State and local levels between workforce investment, economic development, universities, employers and others.  Identifying the best teams in advance should maximize your "return."  Workshops will provide needed information on regional economies as well as the data and tools that are useful in defining regions, high growth industries, and talent needs.  Since there will be no repeat of any workshop session, it would be beneficial to bring a team that could adequately cover the sessions and bring information back to the states. 

4. Meeting Site and Hotel Accommodations:

The conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel & Suites in Oak Brook, Illinois on June 19th and 20th, 2007:

DoubleTree Hotel
1909 Spring Road
Oak Brook, IL  60523  630.318.4405

Reservations. Attendees should call the hotel at the number referenced above, by Monday, May 28, 2007 to secure a reservation at the conference rate.  A block of rooms has been reserved under the name “ U.S. Department of Labor - Workforce Information Conference” at the conference rate of $149.00 per night plus 9% sales tax.  Please contact Denise Donnahoo on 303.972.8372 at The Event Connection if the hotel is sold out or does not have availability on your preferred dates.

Reservations are the responsibility of each attendee and must be made by May 28th.  After this date, special rates and/or availability cannot be guaranteed. In order to guarantee your room, please be sure to provide a major credit card when making your reservation. Room and tax charges, along with all incidental charges, are the responsibility of each individual and must be paid upon departure.

Hotel Cancellations.  If you need to cancel your hotel reservation, please call the hotel directly at 630.318.4405. Please note that any guaranteed reservations not canceled 24 hours prior to the arrival date will be billed to the credit card.

Location.  The Doubletree Hotel Chicago - Oak Brook is close to Downtown Chicago, Illinois and O'Hare and Midway Airports, and it offers complimentary shuttle service within a 5 mile radius to local area companies and attractions, including the Hinsdale (Metra) Train Station.  It is also within easy walking distance of Oak Brook Mall and many restaurants and shops.

Transportation. Attendees are responsible for making their own transportation arrangements. Taxi cabs can be found at the airport curbside.  The DoubleTree Hotel offers open and covered parking at no charge.

Continental Airport Express is offering a $4 round trip or $2 one-way discount for reservations made on-line.  Rates before discount from O’Hare – One-way $27/Round Trip $50; From Midway – One-way $28/Round Trip $52. 

5. Registration:

Register for the conference on-line. Conference registration is the responsibility of each attendee and must be made no later than June 12th.  (Please note that registering for the conference and making hotel reservations are separate and distinct.)

The conference opens on June 19, 2007 with registration from 7:30 – 8:30 AM in the hotel lobby. Welcoming remarks will begin at 8:30 AM.  A complete agenda will be available on The Event Connection website.

Conference Cancellation.  To cancel your conference registration, please contact Denise Donnahoo on 303.972.8372 before June 12th

6.   Inquiries:  Questions regarding the conference should be directed to John Scott on 312.596.5507. Questions or comments on the format of this Letter may be directed to Tom Coyne on 312.596.5435.

7.   Expiration Date. June 19, 2007

8.   Attachments. None.

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