Mary V.L. Wright is Jobs for the Future’s Director of Employer Alliances. Her role is to help Jobs for the Future (JFF) better link employer demands to the outcomes of training initiatives by creating partnerships with employers who recognize the value of contributing to workforce development. Ms. Wright gears her work toward increasing the prominence of employability skills: she helps provide education and training that foster the skills preferred by employers, ultimately contributing to the learner’s long-term success. Keeping the future of work in her line of vision, she uses labor market data to better identify job market demand and focuses on the key role work-based learning plays in engaging all learners. Ms. Wright leads several JFF projects—one involving the Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center, which helps VR agencies become increasingly job-driven. In another project with the Walmart Foundation, she helps to determine how work-based learning strategies can be implemented in a retail setting.
Ms. Wright has many years of experience connecting the public and private sectors in municipal finance, government affairs, and workforce development. Prior to joining JFF, she served as director at The Conference Board in New York City, driving its work in workforce readiness, business, and education partnerships. She also focused on improving the employment outcomes for people with disabilities through research and convenings. Ms. Wright co-authored or acted as project director on several key reports regarding workforce readiness skills, including Are They Really Read to Work? and The Ill-Prepared Workforce. Her nonprofit board experience includes work with organizations that support educational opportunities for underrepresented youth, housing options for low-income families, and the arts. Ms. Wright received a master of business administration in public/nonprofit management from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts in urban affairs from Connecticut College.