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EVP & Chief Operations Officer
As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Jack Mills provides direction for, and leads, the organization's strategy and collaborative work with stakeholders in the adult learning and work ecosystem. He directly oversees these CAEL operational areas: partnerships, research/impact, and innovation; initiatives, solutions, and operations; membership, events, and communications; funding, development planning; and community affairs.
Most recently, Mills served as chief strategy and innovation officer for Partner4Work, the leader of the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. He also has served as senior advisor for workforce systems and director of the National Network of Sector Partners (NNSP) at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, a national research and economic justice organization. Mills earlier held leadership positions at Jobs for the Future, the Office of Workforce Development at the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. At Partner4Work, Mills led teams that brought together partnerships in healthcare, information technology and six other industries, raising millions in foundation, public sector, and corporate funding. As the NNSP's director, Mills launched long-term local, state, and regional partnerships, securing millions for program development and collaborating with other national organizations to increase state policy and funding support for industry partnerships in 26 states.
Mills holds a bachelor of arts in social anthropology and a master of public administration in workforce development and economic development from Harvard University. He resides in Boston.
Links to Related Work
- Making the Most of the Moment for Our Workforce System
- Maximizing Federal Relief for Adult Students, CAEL, August 2, 2021
- 9 Steps to Revitalize America’s Manufacturing Communities, The Century Foundation, May 8, 2019
- Interview with Jack Mills on Sector Initiatives - John J. Heldrich Center, July 2010
- Health Industry Jobs Help Build Healthy Economy, Race Poverty and the Environment, Spring 2007
Areas of Expertise
Mills has extensive experience in strategic planning and action plan development, systems change strategies to overcome structural barriers to skill development and employment outcomes, best practices in the design of workforce training connected to current and future labor market needs, linking economic and workforce development in regions/communities, success factors for achieving impact and scale, and financing strategies for sustainability. Other areas of expertise include developing employer partnerships and approaches for strengthening employer engagement, career pathways, upskilling/reskilling, work/learn strategies, and employer-based career exploration and development.