Tara Smith is a senior program manager at Jobs for the Future. She leads coaching and technical assistance services for workforce development and adult education initiatives with local, statewide, and national focus. Ms. Smith is currently working with community colleges, workforce boards, and other stakeholders involved in projects funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s TAACCCT and Workforce Innovations Fund, as well as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Accelerating TEXAS program. She is also coordinating JFF’s work on developing a competency-based education model for low-skilled adults.
Prior to joining JFF, Ms. Smith was a research associate at The University of Texas at Austin’s Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources. At the Center, she led research and evaluation studies on two-generation strategies, local workforce services providers, applications of workforce system data, and the implementation of federal programs. Ms. Smith previously worked as an analyst with the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration. In what now seems like a former life, she was a 2nd and 4th grade classroom teacher in Austin, TX. Ms. Smith has a master’s in public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She also holds a bachelor’s in applied learning and development from The University of Texas at Austin.