Press Release: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Appoints National Fund’s Fred Dedrick to Serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Elicia Wilson, National Fund, (617) 728-4446 x284 or

Renee Tilton, (410) 626-0805 or

WASHINGTON, DC (October 9, 2014) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced yesterday that Fred Dedrick, executive director, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, is one of 27 individuals selected to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). The Council will operate as an independent entity within the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), which is housed within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). NACIE members will advise the Secretary of Commerce on issues related to accelerating innovation, expanding entrepreneurship and developing a globally competitive workforce.   

“Through our ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ the Commerce Department has prioritized supporting entrepreneurs and helping foster innovation, which are key drivers of America’s global competitiveness,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The new NACIE members are a diverse and dynamic group of successful entrepreneurs, innovators and investors, as well as leaders from nonprofit organizations and academia. I appreciate their willingness to serve our nation on these important issues, and I look forward to working with the Council to advance innovation and cultivate a skilled workforce for today’s 21st century jobs.”

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a national philanthropic partnership that invests in regional funder collaboratives that design locally developed workforce solutions in 35 communities across the country. It moves incumbent workers and jobseekers toward career opportunities by partnering with employers, workers, educators and philanthropy to develop training and credentialing programs in industries important to local economies. Since 2007, these efforts have helped more than 65,000 low-income and unemployed workers gain access to family-supporting careers.

“I’m honored to be selected to this prestigious council and look forward to working with my fellow council members in advising Secretary Pritzker on matters related to workforce development,” said Dedrick. “The National Fund is changing the way communities approach and support workforce development by organizing and growing local collaboratives that engage employers through industry partnerships. Our country’s economic competitiveness depends on building the skills and competencies of all Americans based on a deep understanding of the future needs of industry.”

NACIE’s overarching focus is recommending transformational policies to the Secretary that will help U.S. communities, businesses and the workforce become more globally competitive. NACIE members, who will serve a two-year term, were chosen based on their ability to carry out the objectives of the Council. All of the appointees have demonstrated expertise and experience in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce skills. In reviewing the applications, the Secretary sought individuals who have been nationally recognized leaders in a variety of fields in order to create a balanced point of view, including a representation of different demographics, organization size, industry sector and geographic regions. 

NACIE’s work will be organized into subcommittees around three main focus areas: entrepreneurship, innovation and job-driven skills training. The full Council will convene four times each year beginning with the first meeting in December 2014. To learn more about NACIE, visit

About the National Fund for Workforce Solutions

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions, based in Boston, MA, is a growing national partnership of employers, communities, workers and philanthropy. Together, they invest in 35 regional funder collaboratives to strengthen local economies by implementing demand-driven workforce strategies that create talent supply chains, close skill gaps and improve systems. To learn more, visit


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