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Latino Academy of Workforce Development exec director to step down

Baltazar de Anda Santana at the grand opening of the Latino Academy’s new headquarters in Fitchburg. Photo by Omar Waheed.

The Board of Directors for the Latino Academy of Workforce Development today announced that Baltazar De Anda Santana will step down from his role as executive director, effective March 2, 2024. The Board has appointed Bob Rodriguez to assume the responsibilities as Administrator until a thorough search for an Executive Director is completed. 

“We are grateful to Baltazar for his 12 years of combined service to the Latino Academy,” board president Shiva Bidar-Sielaff said in a statement. “When he first joined the organization, it was an initiative of a parent organization and operated with a limited budget and as such, had a limited ability to impact the community. Under Baltazar’s leadership it is now a standalone organization, running numerous training programs, serving an ever-growing number of students and with a multimillion-dollar annual budget.”

The Latino Academy of Workforce Development began in 2012 as a program of the Vera Court Neighborhood Center, and became a standalone nonprofit organization in 2022. It moved into its new location in Fitchburg in April. The organization provides training and apprenticeships for jobs in construction and other trades, as well as commercial driver license, GED and English language training.

According to a press release, the board has already implemented our transition plan and has appointed Bob Rodriguez as Administrator. Rodriguez has extensive operational knowledge of the organization and will work with the Board and senior staff, Margarita Avila, Director of Workforce Development and Julio Garcia, Director of Education, until the search for a new Executive Director is completed. 

De Anda Santana did not yet say what his next role will be.