Through periodic MAX Member Spotlights, our MAX team is honored to help our broader workforce development network get to know our members better in order to strengthen connections, collaborations, and practices among workforce developers and organizations engaged in workforce development. Here, our members share insights on how MAX is helpful in their work, accomplishments they’re most proud of, emerging trends they see as affecting workforce development, and more.
Why did you become a MAX member?
MAX has been very valuable to me as a workforce developer.
How long have you been engaged with the MAX network?
3 to 5 years
How has being a member of MAX benefitted you or your organization?
I have learned a great deal from mentors in this community and I have developed several important employer relationships. MAX has been an important part of my learning journey into the Workforce Development world.
How have you engaged through MAX in the past 12 months?
MAX Academy, MAX Leadership Network, MAX Minutes, MAX Mondays, MAX Provider Council, and MAX Talks
Which event do you most look forward to attending?
It varies depending upon the topic and who is speaking. Some are more relevant to our work.
How many years have you served in the workforce development profession?
Why do you serve in this profession? What motivates you or inspires you to do what you do?
We want to provide Light, Hope and Transformation to those in need. We try to provide opportunities for people to become stable in their income and achieve pathways to success.
What is something you and/or your organization have accomplished in the past 12 months that you are most proud of?
We received a U.S. Department of Labor grant for $5.4 million and we have successfully put an exceptional team together. We are 4 weeks into our first cohort of our Cyber Security training program and first cohort of our Coding training program.
What are some emerging trends you see affecting the job seekers and employers served through our profession?
COVID-19 has really changed the scenery for both job seekers and employers. There are more opportunities for job seekers today than I have seen in 5 years. But with this second round of COVID-19, applicants are reluctant to go back to work. The trend right now is for employers to pay higher wages to attract applicants. Will these higher wages stay in place post-COVID-19?
Is there anything you believe that we, as a profession, should do differently in the future to best serve those we serve?
We are working to break a cycle that has been in the making for over 250 years. We need to continue to expand opportunities to those who have been systematically denied access to upward mobile options in careers. We need to continue to push employers to hire applicants that may not have a college degree but have the drive, determination, experience, and technical education. Workforce Development partners in Atlanta should continue to seek ways to partner together for the communities we serve so that together we can accomplish MORE.
What is a little-known fun fact about you?
When I am not working, I enjoy painting with watercolors, acrylics, and oils.
ABOUT JEANNIE ROSS
Jeannie Ross has been Director of Workforce Development at City of Refuge since 2016. She has more than tripled the number of individuals who are placed in jobs each year. In 2020, despite COVID, COR was able to place 492 individuals in jobs. Her most recent project is managing a 5.4M Department of Labor 4 year grant to train 280 individuals in Cyber Security and Coding. Jeannie serves on the MAX Provider Council, the Employer Engagement Council, and Advisory Board for Westside Works. Prior to Joining COR, she spent more than 20 years as a brand manager and wholesale field team manager at Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren. Jeannie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. Business/Managerial Economics).
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