Since arriving in 2003 as director of the Southwest Missouri Workforce Innovation Board, Jasen Jones built a team of volunteers and staff on a mission to change lives and make prosperous communities through workforce strategies. Jones is embarking on a new chapter of his own career adventure. Effective April 24th, Jones is joining ACT as a Senior Program Manager for ACT’s Work Ready Communities program.
“I am so thankful for the support and guidance from our staff, board, and other stakeholders,” Jones noted. “I will never forget these positive experiences and will stay devoted to paying it forward.”
The Board of Directors named Sherri Rhuems as the new acting director to oversee a reorganization of WIB staff and functions during the transition of management. Rhuems served the WIB since 2006 and currently holds the role of Operations Manager. The board is expected to make this a permanent role by the end of June.
Jasen, the board, and staff led the WIB on its rise of local, state, and national prominence since 2003. The WIB survived and thrived through difficult transitions, economic recessions, even natural disasters. Much of that success is recognized by the following awards and accomplishments.
- System-Building Award, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, 2015
- America’s first nationally-certified ACT Work Ready Community, 2013 (also first to be re-certified in 2015)
- Show-Me Award for Collaboration, MO ACT Council, 2014
- Presidents Award, Missouri Economic Development Council, 2013
- Governors E-3 Award for Excellence in Employment, Education, and Economic Development, 2012
- IEDC Case Study on Economic Development Integration, 2010
- Nation’s first quad-state WIRED initiative with DOL, 2008-2010
- Affiliate Member of the Year, Missouri Economic Development Council, 2008
- DOL National Case Study on Labor Market Innovation, 2008
- Numerous invitations for state and national conference presentations on WIB innovations
Jones new role with ACT covers outreach and development for new communities and regions to join WRC with a focus on the eastern half of the U.S. Another Missouri WRC champion, Cheri Tune, also joins ACT in April covering the western half of the nation. Jones joins a team of seasoned leaders with ACT WRC, including Suzanne Conquest, Fred McConnel, Tony Garife, and Mary Lewis. While not on the road for WRC, Jones will maintain a home-based office in Joplin as a field-based team member with ACT.
While not on the road for WRC, Jones will maintain a home-based office in Joplin as a field-based team member with ACT. He plans to assist the WIB on a volunteer basis to provide technical assistance with the transition, SectorReady career pathways, and the websites managed by the WIB.