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Workforce Readiness
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When: Thursday, November 16th
From 11:30 to 1:00 (Check-in begins at 11:15)
Where: DoubleTree Hotel
2431 N Glenstone Avenue
Springfield, Missouri  65803
United States
Presenter: Mary Ann Rojas, Director of Workforce Development

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Workforce Readiness

Change 1000 is a pilot program dedicated to upholding the City’s commitments of creating and retaining quality jobs while improving the lives of all citizens. This project is specifically geared toward Zone 1 residents where 30 percent of unemployed residents reside and aims to connect them with employers in PIC-East who are looking for skilled workers.This market-driven pilot project will feature a Skills Academy focused on soft and technical skills driven by industry.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Customizable Workforce Solutions offered by the City of Springfield Workforce Development, additionally attendees will learn about ways to access these solutions and partner with the Department of Workforce Development to customize a suitable training program.
  2. Workforce Development utilizes the most recent demographic information and Census data available to tailor programs to reach individuals in most need of training. 
  3. Attendees will be presented with an opportunity to join an industry consortium focused on skills gaps and how to fill the biggest needs within the industry.
  4. Attendees will learn a basic overview of the workforce system and how it operates within the Ozarks Region. 

Presenter: Mary Ann Rojas

Mary Ann Rojas brings with her over 17 years of experience in workforce development, business and economic development, system design and strategic planning and has demonstrated top quality performance managing large scale multi-million dollar projects and re-engineering organizations through the tactical use of lean principles, evidence based strategies and leadership concepts; these efforts have garnered local and national recognition as well as the attention of additional funding partners, community groups and public boards. Over the course of her career she has served as Executive Director of Work source of the South Plains and Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend in Lubbock and Corpus Christi, Texas, respectively.

During her tenure, Mary Ann successfully leveraged partnerships and collaborations with industry partners and educational institutions resulting in training programs and initiatives such as the "Get Your Job On" Summer youth program which secured employment for over 500 disadvantaged youth and the Workforce Development Coalition which received the Theodore E. Small Partnership Award in 2009. As director, Mrs. Rojas oversaw the redesign and implementation of new workforce system policies, elevated the presence of the workforce system within the local communities, successfully secured federal money for training initiatives, developed and implemented plans to improve customer service, and formed regional coalitions to address workforce issues.

Additionally, as a consultant, Mrs. Rojas has been responsible for incorporating workforce systems into existing business models and for the assessment and improvement of company infrastructure. She has served as a grant writer and lead project manager on Request for Proposal submissions; of which she has helped to bring in a combined 26 million dollars for federally run programs such as child care and workforce delivery.

Mary Ann Rojas holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences for Midwestern State University and is a certified Workforce Professional and Vocational Rehabilitation Provider.

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