ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Latino Convention, the largest professional development event for Latinos in the Commonwealth, returned to Allentown for the fifth year.

More than one million Latinos live in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Latino Convention held on Thursday, Sept. 29, focused on many issues impacting Latino communities.

“From those issues, workshops and presentations then we establish the long-lasting Latino agenda that will have an impact not only socially, economically and educationally,” said Norman Bristol Colon, event organizer.

Allentown, much like Lancaster County, has a diverse and growing population, with many residents identifying as Hispanic.

“Latinos represent 50% of Pennsylvania’s population growth in the past 30 years. It is important that population growth also is connected to Pennsylvania’s growth,” added Bristol Colon.

Despite the numbers, Bristol Colon says Latinos have not been fully integrated into society; His solution involves expanding educational pathways.

“More than 400 students will be stopping by at the convention and it is important that they see individuals that look like them, that speak like them, that come from the same neighborhoods and community that they do,” said Bristol Colon.

A full agenda is in the works, including a Latina women’s conference and a workforce development workshop.

Stay up to date with the latest news with the free abc27 News app for iPhone and Android

“Get out there and vote. Be a visible part of the community because our voice matters,” said Eric Fontanez from the Bethlehem School District.

The Pennsylvania Latino Convention runs through Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.