Gina Caronna was unanimously voted in as the new Executive Director, effective April 1, 2022 by The Workforce Connection (TWC) Board and Chief Elected Officials. Gina brings to TWC her extensive experience at the intersection of higher education and workforce development, leading several talent pipeline initiatives for the region and growing high demand technical programs.
In her most recent role serving as Vice President of STEM and Early College for Rock Valley College, Gina administered a robust workforce development program, which integrated traditional and non-traditional programs to meet industry and business needs. Prior to her time at Rock Valley College, Gina joined the career academy implementation team for Rockford Public Schools District #205 (RPS). Much of her work while at RPS was around the integration of education and workforce, where she demonstrated her ability to work collaboratively as she convened both educators and industry representatives to tackle the difficult task of crafting education and training to prepare young adults for entry into the workforce.
“All of us at The Workforce Connection Board are excited to have Gina leading the organization into its next stage of growth, implementing innovative and effective ways for individuals to pursue their career goals, and for employers to attract and retain an educated and skilled workforce,” said Frank Rotello, TWC Board Chair, and CEO of Alpha Controls & Services.
All while nearing the completion of her Doctorate in Higher Education (Ed.D.) and a mere eight (8) weeks into her new position, Gina has already met with several of the tri-county region’s elected and industry leaders to establish partnerships. She is proud to announce her seat on the Region 1 Planning Council (R1PC) and Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) Boards. More integrally connecting TWC with these esteemed partners will provide TWC with a more collaborative approach to solving individual and employer workforce development needs.
“Our region has many exciting workforce initiatives in place and I am eager to continue with the current work, as well as collaborate regionally to implement new workforce solutions,” said Gina Caronna, Executive Director.
Gina has been at the forefront of renewing an alliance with AAR, which recently awarded TWC with a $2.6 million grant, connecting career-seekers with aviation maintenance training and a direct pipeline of talent to AAR. These initiatives are critical to the success of our region and ensuring that employers have an educated and trained workforce.