A Technical Work Group (TWG) has been assembled to ensure the initiative is guided by subject matter expertise. The TWG acts as a quality assurance team, providing content knowledge on tasks and activities by:
- Selecting policy brief topics and subject matter experts (SMEs);
- Developing and disseminating Technical Assistance (TA);
- Selecting and developing resources; and
- Building resource-sharing and support structures.
The 17 TWG members represent regional, state, and national perspectives in the adult education, workforce development, business and industry, union, postsecondary education, and teacher preparation sectors. For more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judith Alamprese (Advisor)
Abt Associates, Inc.
Judith A. Alamprese, PhD is a principal scientist at Abt Associates, Inc. She has directed research, evaluation, technical assistance, and policy projects in adult education and workforce development for over 30 years. Her work has addressed topics, including state systemic change, interagency coordination, program and teacher effectiveness, implementation of federal and state policies, transition to postsecondary education and employment, and Adult Career Pathways system development. In the area of ABE transition, Ms. Alamprese is directing the technical assistance for the OVAE funded project Policy to Performance as well as an OVAE funded study of ABE transition reading. She also directs the Oregon Pathways for Adult Basic Skills Transition to Education and Work initiative and evaluates the Points of Entry project funded by the Open Society Foundation. She has developed models for program improvement and policy development that have resulted in state and local enhancements in professional development and interagency coordination. Ms. Alamprese served on two adult literacy committees for the National Academies and on several advisory boards for adult education research. She is a well published author and frequently requested speaker at national events. Ms. Alamprese was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the 6th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI) hosted by the government of Brazil in 2009, and participated in the Shanghai International Forum on Lifelong Learning in 2010.
Professor and Director, Office of Community College Research and Leadership
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Debra D. Bragg, PhD is a professor in the department of education policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois, and director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership. Her research focuses on P-20 education policy, with a special interest in the transition of youth and adults to college and careers. She has led research funded by federal, state, and foundation sponsors, including examining the participation of underserved students in college transition and Adult Career Pathways. Recent studies include evaluations of bridge and career pathway programs funded by the Joyce Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, and applied baccalaureate programs funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education. Dr. Bragg holds a doctorate from The Ohio State University. She is the recipient of the career teaching and distinguished research awards from the College of Education at the University of Illinois and the senior scholar award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.
Brenda Brecke is an educational consultant with expertise in project management, technical assistance, facilitation, research, and grant monitoring and evaluation for community colleges and education agencies. In addition, she is a subject matter expert in Adult Career Pathways as well as workforce development. Ms. Brecke currently serves on the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation Board and the Oregon Coast Community Action Board. Ms. Brecke retired from Southwestern Oregon Community College in June 2008 after 20 years in community college leadership. At the college, she held various positions, including dean of resource development and grants management, dean of workforce development, associate dean of workforce development and professional technical education, and director of the adult learning skills program. She authored the report Envisioning the Future: Career Pathways as a System Framework Fully Implemented in the Community College, the second in the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) career pathways series. She also managed various national, state, and local grants, including the multi-year College and Career Transitions Initiative (CCTI), a League for Innovation Adult Career Pathways initiative, the statewide capacity building projects grant, Oregon Pathways Alliance, and numerous Carl Perkins and adult basic education grants. Ms. Brecke holds a master’s degree in adult education from Oregon State University.
Lea Anne Crooks
Executive Director, Workforce & Economic Development
Ivy Tech Community College
Lea Anne Crooks is the executive director at Ivy Tech Corporate College. Ms. Crooks joined the College in 1992 as an adjunct instructor and moved on to become a project manager in her current department in 1994. She was named the executive director in 1999. During her 18 years with the College, Ms. Crooks has developed strong partnerships with the area’s business and industry, and participates with numerous charitable organizations. Her work with Adult Career Pathways is primarily focused on three prison programs, where the College instructors work with offenders in various career programs that are connected to the College. Ms. Crooks holds a master’s degree in human resource development from Indiana State University.
Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield
Senior Policy Analyst
Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield is a senior policy analyst for the workforce development team at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) which is based in Washington, D.C. Ms. Duke-Benfield’s focus is access to and success in adult education/English as a second language and postsecondary education and training. She analyzes and advocates for federal and state workforce and education policies that better serve low income adults and older youth and provides technical assistance to state and local advocates and governments in these areas. Ms. Duke-Benfield provided technical assistance to states participating in the Joyce Foundation’s Shifting Gears project, which sought to strengthen adult education, workforce development, and postsecondary education policies to increase the number of Midwestern workers with marketable credentials. For several years, she spearheaded CLASP’s work and currently advises the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), the Higher Education Act, and related federal postsecondary legislation. Previously, Ms. Duke-Benfield was a research associate at the Urban Institute, where she contributed to several evaluations of state level welfare reform and anti-poverty programs. She was a national associate of the National Center on Public Policy and Higher Education. She holds a master’s degree from Emory University.
Vice President for Education and Training
Istituto del Progreso Latino
Ricardo A. Estrada, EdD is an expert in the field of education with over 25 years of higher education experience. In Chicago, Illinois, he held several positions in the community college and private education sectors, including professor of business for accounting and management; chairperson of the business and management department; associate dean of student services; executive dean of finance and administration; and dean of the executive campus. During his professional career, Dr. Estrada has contributed to the development of several adult education, vocational, and workforce development models that support the career advancement of non-traditional student populations. Some of those models include: Inclusive Admission Model for Community Colleges, General Career Bridge Model, and Career Pathways 101. Dr. Estrada co-authored How to Build Bridge Programs that Fit into a Career Pathway, funded by the Illinois Community College Board and the Joyce Foundation’s Shifting Gears project. He is currently the vice president of education and programs with Institute del Progreso Latino and has developed and implemented a new educational system within the workforce field. Dr. Estrada’s experience in curriculum and program development qualified him as a member of the career pathways panel of experts for the U S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, where he has presented his experience and large body of work in career bridges and pathways. Dr. Estrada holds a doctorate in adult education from National Louis University of Chicago.
Vice President, Building Economic Opportunity
Jobs for the Future
Maria Flynn is the vice president of Jobs for the Future’s (JFF) Economic Opportunity Group.
As the vice president, Ms. Flynn leads JFF’s work to help low skilled adults advance to family sustaining careers while enabling employers to build and sustain a productive workforce. Ms. Flynn guides the activities of several key JFF projects and partnerships, including the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Jobs to Careers, and Breaking Through. Ms. Flynn’s background includes nearly 20 years of experience in the workforce development field. She previously served as administrator of the Office of Policy Development and Research in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA). There she oversaw the assessment and development of employment and training policies, managed the design of the agency’s research and evaluation strategy, and provided direct support to agency budget and appropriations activities. As the agency’s policy director, Ms. Flynn played a key role in the development and implementation of the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development initiative (WIRED). Within DOLETA, Ms. Flynn led the One-Stop Operations Division developing the policy and technical assistance framework that allowed states and local communities to establish comprehensive one-stop delivery systems. She also served as team leader for the interagency policy group charged with implementing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Ms. Flynn holds a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Senior Director for Adult Education
Illinois Community College Board
Jennifer Foster is the senior director for Adult Education and Family Literacy and state director for the GED® testing administration at the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). Ms. Foster has been with the ICCB for 11 years and in adult education for more than 22 years. She oversees approximately 100 state and federally funded adult education and family literacy programs as well as 78 GED® testing centers in Illinois. Ms. Foster participates as a partner in the Illinois Shifting Gears initiative, a Joyce Foundation sponsored project, and serves on the executive committee of the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC) and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) as well as the National Reporting Standards (NRS) technical work group. In addition, she has recently worked on the release of a new strategic plan for adult education entitled, Creating Pathways for Adult Learners. She also currently serves as the project coordinator for the Illinois Accelerating Opportunity initiative, a Jobs for the Future (JFF) initiative. In the past, Ms. Foster has worked on several transition initiatives that examine using bridge programs as a method of linking students without a high school diploma or who lack English language skills to Adult Career Pathways.
State ABLE Director
Ohio Board of Regents
Jeffrey C. Gove is the Ohio Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) state director, and has held this position since December 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Gove worked for 18 years with the Ohio Department of Education. He first led a statewide interagency welfare reform, the ABLE/JOBS program, which was a collaboration to increase adult education services through ABLE programs to persons on public assistance. He then transitioned to a position as a regional ABLE consultant. Before working for the state government, Mr. Gove was in the non-profit sector with the Columbus Urban League, St. Stephen’s settlement house, and the Connecticut Citizen Action Group. Mr. Gove continues to maintain his role as the point person for interagency collaboration and One-Stop partnerships, and represents ABLE on the Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education (OAACE) Board. Mr. Gove graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and minor in psychology.
National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
Kimberly A. Green is an expert on federal policy impacting career and technical education (CTE) for the past 18 years. Working closely with Congress, the Administration, and a broad range of stakeholders, she represents the interests of, and seeks support for, CTE. In addition to this policy work, Ms. Green helped establish, implement, and grow the states’ Career Clusters initiative, which is designed to transform CTE so that it can meet the needs of the nation, its economy, employers, and students. Ms. Green is also an affiliate of the National Research Center for CTE’s Technical Assistance Academy, which is currently focused on helping states develop “green” programs of study. Ms. Green is involved in a variety of boards and committees, including the Manufacturing Skills Standards Leadership Council and the National Career Academy Coalition Executive Committee. Ms. Green is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Shoreline Community College
Dr. Susan Hoyne is an instructional dean at Shoreline Community College in Seattle, Washington. She currently oversees the following programs: science, mathematics, automotive, manufacturing, engineering, energy, and computer science. She has been in the community college system for over 20 years as a faculty member, program chair, and dean. Her experience in adult learning includes work with career pathways, Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST)/Career Navigator programs, work-based learning, and stackable certificates. In addition, she has taught overseas in Australia, Japan, India, and Ecuador. Dr. Hoyne holds a doctorate from the University of Washington in development and cognition, with studies in linguistics, second language Acquisition, and metacognition.
Kenneth (Ken) Hurley
Professor of Mathematics
Central Arizona College
Kenneth Hurley is in his 44th year of teaching mathematics. He has taught at the secondary and postsecondary levels in Tennessee, Florida, Brazil, and currently in Arizona. He has just completed serving as the district math chair at Central Arizona College where he continues to teach. Mr. Hurley has been active in using and promoting the teaching of mathematics contextually for over 20 years. He has been honored for teaching excellence by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and was twice awarded a teaching chair for excellence at Polk State College, Florida. Mr. Hurley holds a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Tennessee.
Anthony (Tony) Iacono
Associate Dean of Developmental Education
Indian River State College
Anthony J. Iacono, PhD is the associate dean of developmental education at Indian River State College (IRSC), and has held this position since 2003. He is an award winning teacher, a national speaker, and a published author of a number of book chapters and articles on subjects ranging from civil rights to Adult Career Pathways. Dr. Iacono is the current chair of Florida’s Funding Formula subcommittee for adult education, and co-chaired the committee that developed the state’s reporting and funding rules for community college and school district adult education programs. He currently serves as the president of the Adult and Community Educators of Florida, Inc. (ACE of Florida) and is the chair of the Florida Department of Education’s (FLDOE) professional development standing committee for adult education. In addition to his administrative responsibilities at IRSC, he also serves as the executive director of the Institute for the Professional Development of Adult Education (IPDAE) at IRSC. Dr. Iacono provides consulting to state and federal program directors and senior level executives within the FLDOE, various state departments of education as well as research and development organizations that focus on educational reform and policy standards. He holds a doctorate in American history and is a nationally recognized education reform leader.
Vice President of Learning
Blackhawk Technical College
Sharon Kennedy, EdD is currently the chief academic officer for Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), assuming the position in 2007. Since the massive dislocation of workers in the BTC area in 2008, she has been immersed in career programming for adult dislocated workers. Prior to coming to BTC, she served as dean of career programs at Moraine Valley Community College in the Chicago area. She began her community and technical college career at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan in the mid-1990s. Dr. Kennedy has written articles and presented at many conferences on topics surrounding tech prep and Adult Career Pathways. She holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Donald McCoy is a kindergarten-to-college (K-to-College) science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education consultant. In 2010, Mr. McCoy launched his consulting business, providing services to STEM clients and partners, including educational institutions, government agencies, non-profits, and corporations. Mr. McCoy serves on six STEM focused advisory boards and committees. He retired in 2009 from IBM after thirty years of service as a senior engineer with responsibilities in people, project, and program management. His career includes assignments in corporate headquarters, product development, manufacturing product testing, consulting, marketing, and human resources. Mr. McCoy served two years on an international product development assignment to IBM United Kingdom. His last decade at IBM was spent in corporate headquarters focused on K-to-College STEM initiatives and outreach programs designed to increase the representation of diverse technical talent. His programs and projects included diversity strategy, budget management, training workshops, technology camps, career fairs, conferences, and mentoring programs. Mr. McCoy holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics technology from Old Dominion University.
Director of Business Affairs
Woody Oge is the director of business affairs at Ingalls Shipbuilding-Avondale Operations. Mr. Oge is responsible for all functions at the shipyard in support of ship construction and all local, state, and federal business relations as they relate to the Avondale Operations. Mr. Oge began his tenure with Avondale in 1969 and has held various management positions in manufacturing and engineering, including program manager and vice president of government and commercial programs. Mr. Oge was chairman of Governor Jindal’s Workforce Transition Committee and has subsequently been appointed by the Governor to the Board of Supervisors for the Louisiana Community and College System. He also serves on the Louisiana Department of Education’s Tier 1 Committee on High School Redesign and Business and Industry Roundtable. Mr. Oge is on the board of directors of the Delgado Community College Foundation, the West Jefferson Hospital Foundation, ASI Federal Credit Union, Bureau of Governmental Research, and Greater New Orleans Inc. In addition, he is the Chairman of the GNO, Inc., workforce development committee and vice chairman of the Jefferson Business Council Board. Other organizational alignments include Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCP)/Edge 2020 Education Committee and Harvey Canal Industrial Association. He is a member of the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s State Apprenticeship Committee, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s (LABI) workforce and education committee, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE), and Surface Navy Association (SNA). Mr. Oge is a graduate of Southeastern University, and has also completed the Wharton and Harvard Business Executive Education courses along with several other management training courses and seminars.
Long Beach School for Adults, Career and Technical Education
Matthew Saldana is principal of both the Long Beach School for Adults and Beach High School in the Long Beach Unified School District. He has extensive experience in career and technical education, work based learning, and high school reform, including working on the design and leadership team on Linked Learning. Previously, Mr. Saldana participated in the development of four new high schools, including chairing the Early College Academic and Technical School design team. He has worked with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) on the Career and Technical Education Subject Matter Exam and has contributed to the career and technical education credential revisions for the CCTC. He is a strong advocate for linking community organizations to the public school system, including the creation of an integrated program delivery system with Goodwill, workforce development, and Job Corps. Mr. Saldana holds a master’s degree and administrative credential from the University of LaVerne and a school of business management certificate from the University of Southern California.