HCCC Introduces Inaugural Workforce Leadership Academy

July 18, 2019

Local leaders selected for the program in partnership with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. 


July 18, 2019, Jersey City, NJ – Today, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) introduced the inaugural class of a new program designed to improve local workforce development efforts and create innovative solutions to the challenges faced by workers and businesses.

The Hudson County Workforce Leadership Academy (HCWLA) is the first in Hudson County, and one of four to be launched this year through the support of JPMorgan Chase, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This Academy is the latest in a series of Workforce Leadership Academies hosted in communities across the United States and Canada. It is the first in the nation to be held in partnership with a local community college, and the first public- and private-funded Workforce Leadership Academy. Local funders include the County of Hudson, LeFrak family and Mack-Cali.


Inaugural Workforce Leadership Academy


A 12-month fellowship developed through a partnership with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, the Hudson County Workforce Leadership Academy is designed to strengthen the local network of workforce leaders through a series of retreats and workshops that will acquaint the participating Fellows with new tools and strategies.

The 19 Fellows of the Hudson County Workforce Leadership Academy Class of 2019-20 represent a range of nonprofit organizations, business associations, institutes of higher education, training efforts, and public agencies. The HCWLA launched in late June and will culminate with a capstone project presentation event in March 2020. 

Fellows in the HCWLA Inaugural Class are:

  • Vid Bahadur, Director of Workforce and Community Development, New Jersey City University;
  • Jason Bing, Chief Academic Officer, Jersey City Public Schools;
  • Susanne Byrne, Executive Director, York Street Project;
  • Elaine Dawson, Director, Family Support Services/Youth & Education Development, Urban League of Hudson County;
  • Heather DeVries, Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Academic Assessment, Hudson County Community College;
  • Jamie Ding, Grant Research and Data Analyst, City of Jersey City Division of Community Development;
  • Esmeralda Doreste-Roman, Director of Union City Adult Learning Center, Union City Adult Education;
  • Kerri Gatling, Chief, New Jersey Industry Partnerships, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development;
  • Anna Lukasiak, Business Development Director, Morrison Technologies LLC;
  • Tom Masnaghetti, Chief Operating Officer/EVP, Hudson Community Enterprises;
  • Victoria Marino, Director of Career Services, Hudson County Community College;
  • Catherina Mirasol, Director, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Hudson County Community College;
  • Samantha Moore, Administrator, Office of Children and Youth Services, Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Linda Nation, Manager of Workforce Development Training Center, WomenRising, Inc.;
  • Michael Rasmussen, Program Director, NPower;
  • Jamie Rudolph, Director of Grants and Innovation Projects, Rising Tide Capital, Inc.;
  • Timothy Sheridan, Assistant Director, Hudson County One Stop Career Center;
  • Carlton Smalls, Director, RWJBarnabas Health; and
  • Vivian Teran, Executive Assistant, Hudson County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Hudson County Community College is proud to sponsor the Hudson County Workforce Leadership Academy,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber. “The Workforce Leadership Academies have a record of successfully advancing greater economic opportunities by developing leaders who work collaboratively to build effective workforce systems. This innovative Academy will significantly benefit the people, businesses, and industries in Hudson County.”

According to Sheila McGuire, “Collaboration grows at the speed of trust, and today’s workforce development leaders are increasingly being asked to create solutions through collaboration. This Academy is a rare opportunity for these local leaders to step back with colleagues from Hudson County, reflect on their own organizational challenges, hear from leading practitioners from around the country, and develop the network and trust so essential for success.” Ms. Maguire is a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program and director of the local network of Workforce Leadership Academies.

The HCWLA is led by Sheila Maguire and an Advisory Board that includes Hugh Bailey, Assistant Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Vivian Brady-Phillips, Executive Director of the Jersey City Housing Authority; Jeremy Farrell, Senior Director at LeFrak; Aaron Fichtner, President, New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Lori Margolin, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at HCCC; Abby Marquand, Workforce Program Officer and Vice President of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Roseann Mazzeo, S.C., Executive Director of WomenRising; and Michelle Richardson, Executive Director of the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation. 

Biographical information on the HCWLA Fellows is available at https://www.aspeninstitute.org/team/hudson-county-workforce-leadership-academy-class-of-2019-2020/.