DLN Annual Conference 2018

Staying Ahead of the Curve: The Next Generation Delta Workforce, the 2018 DLN annual conference, will help you lead your communities to harness future opportunities and get ahead of the curve with new innovative strategies for meeting our regional economy's workforce needs. The Delta's communities, while full of creative, passionate, and determined people, are often one step behind in applying successful solutions to our region's most pressing economic issues. This conference is alumni-led, forward-thinking, experiential, and focused on inspiring each DLN member to identify new ways their community can approach education, workforce development, and quality job creation. 


During the conference, we will explore programs and strategies that are preparing current and future workers for the next generation of jobs, starting with early childhood education and moving through a worker's lifecycle, including retraining for re-entry into the labor market. We will identify and break down the barriers to securing high-level skills with the goal of low unemployment. We will participate in breakout workshops that challenge you to apply lessons to your own community. State meetings on the last day will help our Network develop actionable goals for our communities.

Join us in Memphis, Tennessee, on February 5-7, 2018, and stay ahead of the curve!

Registration is NOW OPEN through Monday, January 22. You can register three ways:

  1. Online Here
  2. By phone at 205-348-3000 and use reference code: 036-0218 for Delta Leadership Network conference; or
  3. By submitting the paper registration form to lalewis4@ccs.ua.edu or by mail at The University of Alabama Registration Services, Box 870398, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. 

There are three timelines for registration this year, as we are expecting excellent attendance:

  • Early Bird Registration (November 13-December 10): $85
  • Standard Registration (December 11-January 22): $100
  • Late Registration (January 23-February 5): $120

All payments must be received before your registration will be completed. If registering online or by phone, you must use a credit or debit card. Check payment only available via mailing paper registration form. If sending via mail, postmark date will be used as registration date.

Monday, February 5

12:00 - 3:00      Registration | DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Memphis, 185 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN (lunch on your own)

2:00 - 2:30        Welcome | DRA and DLI Leadership

2:30 - 3:30        Opening Keynote: The Future of Work, Jobs, and the Economy

3:30 - 4:30        Early Education and Engaging Youth

5:00 - 8:00        Welcome Reception and Field Experience | Stax Museum and Music Academy (heavy hors d'oeuvres and cash bar)

Tuesday, February 6

9:00 - 10:15      Thinking Outside the Box: Non-traditional and Innovative Approaches to Workforce Development

10:45 - 12:00    Breakout Sessions | AutoZone Park

  • Funding Workforce Programs
  • Developing Public-Private Partnerships and Engaging Industry for Workforce Success
  • Addressing Structural Workforce Barriers

12:00 - 1:30      Lunch Keynote: Apprenticeships and On-site Workforce Training

2:00 - 3:00        Changing the Culture of Unemployed Communities and Re-engaging Disconnected Workers

3:30 - 6:00        Field Experience | Crosstown Concourse

Dinner on your own

Wednesday, February 7

9:00 - 10:45      State Meetings: Action items to improve workforce in your state and DLN State business | AutoZone Park

11:00 - 11:45    Closing Keynote: The Next Generation of Delta Workforce is Now

*This is a draft agenda subject to adjustments based on speaker availability.

Lodging is not covered by the registration fee; however, the DLN has a block of 100 rooms reserved at the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Memphis (185 Union Avenue) for the government rate of $117 per night plus taxes and fees. To reserve a room, call 901-528-1800 and ask for the Delta Leadership Network room blockIf you would like to share a room with someone, we encourage you to reconnect with your classmates via the DLN Portal.

Monday morning will be a travel day with registration at the DoubleTree beginning at Noon. The opening session will start promptly at 2:00 pm. If you wish to carpool, we encourage you to let us know, and we will help connect you to others in your area.

Parking: Valet parking is available for $26 per day at the DoubleTree. There is limited street parking in downtown Memphis; however, there are numerous parking garages, including: 23 S. 3rd Street ($10 daily), 118 Union Avenue ($12 daily), 249 Peabody Place ($5 daily), and 149 Peabody Place ($12 daily). Find more public parking options here: http://www.downtownmemphis.com/getting-around/parking/.

Overflow lodging: Once the hotel block at the DoubleTree is full, there is a second overflow block of 50 rooms at the Courtyard Marriott (75 Jefferson Avenue) for $130 per night plus taxes and fees. To book a reservation, either book online with this link or call the hotel and ask for a room in the Delta Leadership Institute block. Valet parking is available for $22 per day. The Courtyard Marriott is approximately .5 miles or 7 blocks from the DoubleTree Hotel.

Thanks to generous sponsors, there will be a limited number of scholarships. If you are unable to pay the registration fee, please submit a one-page explanation (no more than 300 words) of your need. Include your recent involvement with the Delta Leadership Network. Please note if a partial scholarship would allow you to participate, should there not be a full scholarship available. Scholarship requests should be submitted to Shawnie Carrier at shawniecarrier@astate.edu by Thursday, January 4. 

Notice of scholarship receipt will be made by no later than Tuesday, January 16. 


For information or ideas regarding the agenda and programming, contact Frankie Gilliam at fgilliam@astate.edu or (870) 335-7892.

For help with booking your lodging or any dietary restrictions, contact Sea Talantis at stalantis@ccs.ua.edu or (205) 348-3014.