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Weinberg Sector Skills Academy - Investing in Workforce Development

Posted By Linda Dworak, Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

By Linda Dworak, Director, Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative

Last week, I drove out to the Eastern Shore with Marci Hunn of the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Melanie Styles, of The Abell Foundation. The purpose of our trip was to participate in a session that was part of the opening retreat for the Weinberg Sector Skills Academy (WSSA).

The WSSA is a year-long learning and leadership experience for senior professionals who provide workforce development services and technical training in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has launched the Academy with additional funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Abell Foundation and technical support from the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative.

When we stepped out onto the bucolic campus of The Aspen Institute’s Wye River Conference Center, we were immediately struck by the very high level of positive energy and fast camaraderie among the Academy participants. The participants, who were spending 2.5 days together during the opening retreat, had arrived earlier that afternoon and were already well into deep and lively discussion about systems change and partnership building. Marci, Melanie and I joined in a fruitful discussion about funder hopes for the Academy and for greater collaboration within the provider network and then were invited to share in a spirited dinner. By the time we begrudgingly departed, leaving the participants to enjoy the remainder of their retreat, we three were filled with their contagious optimism and creative verve.

The Weinberg Sector Skills Academy, which will be conducted by the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative, will consist of nine retreats, meetings, and webinars over the next 12 months. The program will conclude with capstone project presentations by small teams of participants. The curriculum is designed to engage participants in developing the skills and strategic perspective to better meet the needs of low-income individuals seeking employment in Baltimore.

Having worked with the Aspen Institute on launching the National Sector Skills Academy in my pre-ABAG work life, I couldn’t be more delighted that our local colleagues now have an opportunity to experience this program. I am confident that they will gain much as individuals, and that our city will benefit tremendously from this important program.

The following individuals have been selected to take part in the inaugural 2015 program:

· Steve Bountress, Vice President, Living Classrooms Foundation

· Jacqueline Buedel, Director of Academic and Career Advancement, Caroline Center

· Wayne Butscher, Ph.D., Director of BioSTART and Laboratory Associates Program, BioTechnical Institute of Maryland

· Elaine Carroll, Program Director, Jane Addams Resource Corporation

· Jeff Carroll, Vice President, DETAILS, a social enterprise of Humanim

· Eric Clay, Director, Career Development, Bon Secours Community Works

· Tona Cravioto, Senior Director, Workforce Development, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore

· Nancy Fenton, Executive Director, Episcopal Community Services of Maryland

· Terry Fisher, Director of Programs, Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare

· Gicelle Fundales, Director of Training and Production, Civic Works

· Jean Henry, Director of Workforce Development and Community Education, Baltimore City Community College

· Rosalind Howard, Business Services Manager, Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development

· Lois Mitchell, Director of Programs, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, Inc.

· Sara Muempfer, Director of Workforce Development, Maryland Department of Human Resources

· Jermaine Peterson, Culinary Program Manager, Moveable Feast

· Nii Sowah, Director of Family Stability and Economic Success Programs, Center for Urban Families

· Matt Stubbs, Program Manager, JumpStart, Job Opportunities Task Force

· Clair Watson, Program Director, Maryland New Directions

Click here to read the press release from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Tags:  BWFC  June 2015 Members' Memo  Workforce  Workforce Funders Collaborative 

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