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Press Release: City of Jackson to launch Workforce Leadership Academy in collaboration with the Aspen Institute

Posted on January 6, 2020


(Jackson, Miss.) – Monday, The City of Jackson announced that it will sponsor a Workforce Leadership Academy, a program designed to develop a local network of workforce development leaders to collaborate on solutions to common challenges. The Academy will be run in partnership with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program and is sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation. The Jackson Workforce Leadership Academy is the latest in a series of Academies in the United States and Canada and is the first to be facilitated by the City of Jackson.

Fellows will be selected in a competitive application process. The City of Jackson and its partners encourage senior-level managers from non-profit organizations, business associations, union-based training efforts, public agencies, and community colleges who have the authority to implement changes to apply. Applications are available online. The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2020. Interested applicants can learn more about the Academy during an informational webinar to be held on January 16, 2020. Registration can be found here.

“The City of Jackson is pleased to collaborate with the Aspen Institute through the support of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to create the Jackson Workforce Leadership Academy.  The Workforce Leadership Academy is a foundational element of our inclusive plan for economic development.  As we are experiencing growth in the City of Jackson, we must ensure that this growth benefits all citizens through jobs that garner a living wage, create a higher standard of living, and increase the ability of all citizens to thrive in an environment of human dignity,” said Dr. Robert Blaine, City Administrator.

The Academy will create and support a peer-learning community of workforce leaders with a one-year educational and networking experience to help them manage the challenges they face in addressing changes in technology, business norms, and policy. These senior-level workforce fellows will work with leading practitioners from around the US, learn about practical planning tools, and collaborate to reflect on and develop effective strategies to strengthen the local workforce system. Alumni of the Academies will become part of the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Fellows Network.

The Jackson Academy will be led by Dr. Robert Blaine and a Local Advisory Council that includes: Robert Leard, Paula Sammons, Dr. Ira Murray, Linda Mamon, David Bickham, Richard Sun, Ivye Allen, Gloria Mwase, Chad Stocks, Gen. Leon Collins, Mary Powers, Nafeesa Edges, Jessica Nelson, Mya Lee, and John Cooper. For more information contact the Jackson Facilitation Team at or



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