RICHMOND -- A local homeless-advocacy group is set to welcome hundreds to its growing annual conference, which draws experts from across the nation to share ideas about reducing homelessness through job training and linking those willing to work with employers.

Saffron Strand's fourth annual conference--"Developing the Homeless Workforce: What Will It Take?" has a two-day schedule including high-profile speakers and more than 20 workshops dealing with developing the homeless work force, reducing employment barriers, hiring incentives and integrating employment programs in service delivery to homeless residents.

Among the high-profile speakers are Lena Robinson, regional manager, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Virginia Hamilton, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor. Local leaders such as Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and City Councilman Jael Myrick are also scheduled to lead sessions.

Saffron Strand, Richmond-based membership organization for homeless men and women in Contra Costa County, was formed in 2008, and has gained growing acclaim for its annual conference.

The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday and Tuesday at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. The public is invited to register to attend at https://co.clickandpledge.com/advanced/default.aspx?wid=51275.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or rrogers@bayreanewsgroup.com and follow Twitter.com/roberthrogers