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SMA Biography

Belén Ledezma

Monitor Advocate

Belén Ledezma joined the New York State Department of Labor in June 2016 in the position of State Monitor Advocate.

Belén, who is a native of West Michigan, grew up in a farmworker family. Experiencing the challenges of living as a migrant worker both in Mexico and the United States sparked a passion for vulnerable populations that would define her career and life pursuits. She has been involved with farmworkers and immigrant and refugee communities in order to better understand the adversities they face. She has taught English as a Second Language in migrant labor camps, worked with the Grand Rapids Children's Museum to promote cultural diversity, served as volunteer cook for the Renucci House in Grand Rapids for families with loved ones in long-term care, volunteer at Greater Lansing's Women and Families Shelter and for Sparrow Hospitals as a patient liaison.

In current and past leadership positions, Belén has supported her vision of service by establishing an Interpreting and Translations Language Department for Spectrum Health Systems. She designed and implemented policies and procedures promoting access to care for the Limited English Proficient (LEP) community. She has been in the forefront of the medical interpreting field by establishing guidelines for testing, hiring, training and delivering services to LEP clients in the Greater Grand Rapids healthcare arena.

Belén is a strong proponent of leveraging partnerships to design effective policy solutions. As former Director of the Migrant, Immigrant and Seasonal Worker Services Division for the Michigan Workforce Development Agency (WDA), she implemented projects to disseminate information to farmworkers by sponsoring Farmworker Appreciation Days, police visits to camps to instruct on Michigan laws and hosted the radio show La Hora del Campesino. She also hosted agricultural grower shows to share best practices in labor management, labor, wage and housing regulations. As member of Michigan's statewide Interagency Migrant Services Committee, she was involved in the Civil Rights hearings regarding MSFW treatment, MSFW Enumeration Study and taskforce for Global Michigan.

Belén graduated from Western Michigan University with a BA/BS in Political Science, Latin, and Spanish and a concentration in World History.

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