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Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County (WIB) Welcomes Board Chair & Members

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01 August 2020

At its August 6, 2020 meeting, the Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County (WIB) welcomed incoming Board Chair, Chad Kulas, newly appointed Board Member, Camila Mercado Michelli and nine reappointed Board Members.

Kulas is the Executive Director of the Midway Chamber of Commerce.  He was first appointed to the WIB in 2015 and has served as Chair-elect since 2018.  Kulas will preside as Chair until July 2022. He takes over for outgoing Chair, Karin McCabe of McGough Construction.   

“It is my great honor to serve as Chair of the WIB at this significant moment in our community” said Kulas.  “Given the recent dramatic increase in unemployment, particularly impacting Black, Indigenous and communities of color, it is an important time for the WIB to identify key industries for job growth and connect the residents of Ramsey County to jobs that will lead to stable careers with self-sustaining wages.” 

Mercado Michelli, Advocacy & Community Building Project Manager at Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), was appointed to the WIB by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners to represent Community-Based Organizations.  In her role at CLUES, Mercado Michelli works closely with people in the Latinx community, especially young people, to connect them to employment and training opportunities. She has been a member of the WIB’s Youth Committee since September 2019.

Other WIB members recently reappointed for another two-year term include:

  • Jennifer Germain, Area Manager for DEED Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Larry Gilbertson, Training Director of the Twin Cities Ironworkers Local 512
  • Kristin Guild, Deputy Director, Department of Planning and Economic Development – City of Saint Paul
  • Hyon Kim, President of MN Best Inc.
  • Gaye Adams Massey, CEO of the YWCA of Saint Paul
  • Paul Nikstad, Career Technical Training Manager at the Humphrey Job Corps Center
  • Sheila Olson, Chief Programs Office for Goodwill-Easter Seals MN
  • Elisa Rasmussen, Manager of Community Relations & Foundation at Xcel Energy
  • Shannon Watson, Director of Public Affairs for the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

“The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners is appreciative of the business and community leaders on the WIB who devote their time to ensuring economic prosperity and opportunity for all our residents and businesses,” said Commissioner Jim McDonough. “I look forward to Chad Kulas’ leadership during this critical time and thank Karin McCabe, our past chair, for her dedication and commitment.”

Councilmember Chris Tolbert recognizes the vital role the WIB plays in building and maintaining a healthy and vibrant community.  “We are fortunate to have a local workforce board with the knowledge and expertise to help Saint Paul’s businesses and residents recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Under Chad Kulas’ leadership, the WIB is well positioned to respond to the needs of our local employers and job seekers.”

The Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County (WIB) is one of 16 legislatively mandated Workforce Boards in Minnesota. Working in partnership with the City of Saint Paul, the WIB harnesses the power of business, government, economic development, education and the community to develop strategic solutions that address employer and job seeker needs.  The WIB is responsible for setting local strategic direction and providing local oversight for CareerForce, Minnesota’s public workforce system.

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