When Geri Scott was growing up, she was privileged to be surrounded by family who supported her in whatever she chose to do and granted her many opportunities. She soon recognized that not everyone is so fortunate, however, and decided to pursue a career in vocational psychology to help them. Since then, Ms. Scott has worked with a broad range of workforce development programs, both in Massachusetts and nationally, and has garnered more than 25 years of experience in the field.
Ms. Scott’s professional path eventually led her to join her current employer, Jobs for the Future, as a program director in 2002. Jobs for the Future is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative career pathways, educational resources, and public policies that increase college readiness and career success, thus building a more highly skilled workforce. Ms. Scott’s responsibilities with the organization include managing the Pathways out of Poverty, GreenWays, and American Apprenticeship initiatives, and integrating innovative workforce partnership and regional funding collaborative approaches to sector organizing and career advancement for lower-skilled individuals. She attributes her success to her ability to find a common thread in opposing positions and make difficult concepts more accessible.
Some of Ms. Scott’s previous roles include director of the Massachusetts Association of Regional Employment Boards, where she provided advocacy and policy guidance to business chairs in the transition from industry councils to workforce investment boards, and director of vocational education programs for the Massachusetts Department of Manpower Development, where she refocused occupational training efforts to incorporate employers’ skill standards and nearly doubled the resulting job placement rates. She also held leadership positions with the National Alliance of Business and the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants. Furthermore, Ms. Scott has authored or co-authored a number of technical assistance guides for building the capacity of the workforce development system to address human resource development needs, which she considers to be her greatest accomplishment.
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