Hartford Generation Work Launches Workforce Leaders Academy

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

HARTFORD, CT -- Hartford Generation Work has announced the inaugural class of the Workforce Leaders Academy (WLA). The WLA is a 12-month fellowship designed to improve the quantity, quality and sustainability of efforts to move young adults ages 18-29 to work. The WLA brings together national and local leaders on issues and best practices in sector-based workforce development and youth development, individual leadership development, exercises and tools to help participants understand how to develop, implement and sustain young adult employment initiatives.

The three-day opening retreat was held earlier this month at the Heritage Inn in Southbury, Conn. The 22 fellows engaged in systems work, initiative mapping, leadership development, and workforce development programs and insights. Guest presenters included Janice Urbanik from Partners for a Competitive Workforce in Cincinnati, OH; Makeeda Holley from District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund in Philadelphia, PA; Brenda Palms Barber from North Lawndale Employment Network in Chicago, IL; and, Patrick Flaherty from the CT Department of Labor.

“United Way brings people together to solve tough challenges facing our community,” said Paula S. Gilberto, President and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “By investing in the leadership and collaboration skills of workforce and youth development professionals, we’ll improve our community’s ability to prepare young adults for jobs that are available locally.”

The fellows are all organizational leaders from community-based organizations, colleges, workforce development organizations, government agencies, labor, employer groups and other stakeholders in the education, workforce and youth development systems. Each of the 22 participants are leading or planning youth development or workforce development initiatives or programs that address the employment needs of young adults aged 18-29. Additionally, participants hold a position of leadership and decision-making authority regarding such initiatives or programs and are based in Greater Hartford and serving Hartford young adults.

Participants are as follows:

  • Kristina Baldwin, Grants Manager, City of Hartford

  • Ren Brockmeyer, Director of Women and Girl's Program, YWCA Hartford Region

  • Kayla Bynum, Workforce Development Specialist, Our Piece of the Pie

  • William Clark, Director, Career Resources/STRIVE CT

  • Sam DeCarlo, Supervisor of Youth Services, Our Piece of the Pie

  • Steve Diaz, Senior Community Investment Manager, United Way

  • Kim Flint, Program Director, Center for Latino Progress

  • Daniel Gregory, Program Coordinator, Capital Community College

  • Martha Guidry, Executive Director, Capital City Education Alliance

  • Ricardo Henriquez, Director, Workforce Solutions

  • Angelica Heron, Opportunity Youth Coordinator, Capital Workforce Partners

  • Elizabeth Horton Sheff, Director of Community Services, Community Renewal Team

  • Quishema Jones

  • Katherine Lather, SNAP Program Supervisor, Goodwin College

  • Robert Michalman, Program Manager, Chrysalis Center

  • Laura O'Keefe, Director of Family Financial Stability, Village for Families and Children

  • Keren Prescott, Opportunity Youth Café Manager, Billings Forge

  • Lynn Raicik, Senior Workforce Specialist, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology

  • Marisa Rubera, Program Coordinator, Asnuntuck Community College

  • Alice Turner, Founder and CEO, URISE Ventures

  • Dayl Walker, Program Manager, Connecticut Business & Industry Association

  • Liz Weiblen, Assistant CEO, Community Solutions

The leadership development model used by the WLA was created by the Aspen Institute. Since 2005, the highly regarded Aspen Institute Academy has graduated more than 300 Fellows. Participants in WLA will be Aspen Sector Skills Academy Fellows.

About Workforce Leaders Academy

WLA is a project of Hartford Generation Work, in collaboration with United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Capital Workforce Partners, the City of Hartford and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. WLA is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation with additional support by the Nutmeg Foundation and Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford.



Elyssa M. Millspaugh
United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

Websites: www.unitedwayinc.org; www.hfpg.org

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