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Sharing the stories of six of the nine women who lead Michigan Works!

Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March as “Women’s History Month.” March has become the time to celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States, recognizing the accomplishments of women over the course of history in a variety of fields.

We believe that it’s not only important to honor the past, Youth Solutions would like to acknowledge the women who are paving the way for the future, specifically six of the nine women who lead Michigan's workforce development.

Youth Solutions works closely with the Michigan Works! agencies around the state providing them with the tools, training, resources and financial support to implement our Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) programming. We would not have the expansive reach without this relationship between our organization and the 15 Michigan Works! agencies that offer this innovative programming to develop employability skills within youth.

The women leaders within the Michigan Works! network have many skills that make them great leaders that are deserving of acknowledgement. These are five traits that stand out:

1. Collaboration: These women leaders are very collaborative and relationship-oriented, which is essential for building strong partnerships with employers, educational institutions and other stakeholders in workforce development. Their leadership has led to more effective and sustainable workforce development initiatives, many of which help our young people prepare for their futures.

2. Empathy: This group of women leaders has a strong sense of empathy, given their own personal challenges. Their ability to relate helps them understand the unique needs and challenges faced by young people, especially young women who are preparing to enter the workforce.

3. Communication: Although each leader is very busy in their role, they all understand the importance of communicating which is critical for engaging and motivating young people. Strong communication also helps to build consensus among stakeholders who support our workforce development initiatives.

4. Multitasking: Give these women a challenge and they rise! Each leader has proven they can manage the many work streams that are present in the fast-paced and complex world of workforce development. They are able to juggle multiple priorities, navigate competing demands and stay focused on making a difference in the lives of the people they and their teams serve.

5. Inclusivity: These women leaders are often champions of inclusivity and diversity, which is essential for creating equitable and accessible workforce development programs that serve all young people, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

We’re proud to introduce you to these six incredible women and provide you with some insight into their individual leadership styles. Meet Jakki Bungart-Bibb, Shelly Keene, Jody Kerbyson, Jennifer Llewellyn, Carrie Rosingana and Kristen Wenzel. Click the links to read the individual stories of these dynamic women who lead within the Michigan Works! System and learn about their unique experiences as a female leader.

Thank you ladies for your support of Youth Solutions, the JMG program and your impact on young people within these critical programs.

Who is a woman leader that has inspired you? Tag someone or include their name telling us how they positively impacted your education or career journey. Share your thoughts on our social media channels.


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