SkillUp Coalition celebrates one-year anniversary; welcomes Andre Bennin, Benjamin Geyerhahn, Des Lovell, and Jose Ortiz, Jr. to its board of directors
NEW YORK, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The national social impact nonprofit SkillUp Coalition – founded one year ago to create paths to economic mobility for displaced workers – today welcomed four senior leaders in education, workforce development, and social impact to its board of directors. Representing a combined 55 years of experience helping workers and students navigate the path from education to economic opportunity, each will bring a unique perspective and depth of expertise to SkillUp's work helping more than 40 million Americans get back to work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Though the country is making progress in its emergence from the pandemic, we're just beginning the work that still needs to be done to build a more inclusive and resilient economy," said Steve Lee, Executive Director of the SkillUp Coalition. "As an organization that prides itself on forging connections and bringing together divergent perspectives, we're humbled to welcome such an experienced and committed group of leaders to help advance SkillUp's work at a critical time for the country's economic recovery."
Andre Bennin is Managing Partner at Juvo Ventures, a double bottom line venture capital firm that supports early-stage companies at the intersection of education and work. He previously served as Managing Director and Deputy Chief of Staff at Strada Education Network.
A lawyer by training, Benjamin Geyerhahn is CEO of the Workers Benefits Fund, which provides portable benefits to gig economy workers. He previously served as a Board Member for The Workers Lab and Older Adults Technology Services (OATS).
Des Lovell currently serves as VP of Finance at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles. With more than a decade of experience in private equity and investment banking, he brings a unique perspective to his work on behalf of mission-driven schools and education organizations.
Jose Ortiz, Jr. is CEO of the NYC Employment and Training Coalition, an association of more than 180 organizations that provide training and education to nearly 800,000 New Yorkers. His previous experience includes more than a decade at the 92nd Street Y, where he led strategic partnerships for the Y's Center for Innovation & Social Impact.
The newest board members join SkillUp Board of Directors Maria Flynn, CEO, JFF (Jobs for the Future); Josh Jarrett, SkillUp Coalition Founder & SVP of Strategy, Wiley; and Michelle Weise, Vice Chancellor, Strategy & Innovation, National University System.
Designed to serve communities experiencing barriers to the workforce, the SkillUp Coalition works with organizations around the country to create new pathways to economic mobility for the millions of Americans whose livelihoods are still being affected by the pandemic. In addition to its national reach, SkillUp is joining forces with colleges and universities, employers, and community groups in states including California, Florida, and Louisiana to expand access to local training and career guidance. To date, the Coalition has reached nearly 400,000 individuals, helping them pursue education and career opportunities as the U.S. navigates a path to economic recovery.
As SkillUp celebrates its first anniversary, the organization has welcomed more than 60 coalition partners and onboarded 400 high-quality training and certification programs onto its platform. The SkillUp Together Fund, which provides financial support for learners enrolled in training programs, has already supported more than 400 learners since its launch in February. In addition to its new board members, SkillUp also recently welcomed four new additions to its leadership team: Desiree Jewell, VP of Marketing & Communications; Beth Davis, VP of Training & Analytics; Elissa Salas, VP of Partnerships & Operations; and Blyth Strachman, VP of Product.
About the SkillUp Coalition
Founded in July 2020, SkillUp Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping displaced workers develop the knowledge, confidence, skills, and training to land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries. The coalition brings together over 60 leading organizations including training and education providers, technology developers, policymakers, employers, and philanthropies. The SkillUp ecosystem provides career navigation, training & employer connections, career coaching, and financial support to build a more inclusive economy for all workers. For more information, please visit www.skillup.org.
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SOURCE SkillUp Coalition