Skip to content
Select Experts Vanessa Bennett she/her Director

Vanessa Bennett is a director at the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning at JFF. She works to drive equity, inclusion, and access to the workforce for workers and learners from underrepresented populations through policy and systems change. Her work focuses on creating place-based strategies, expanding career pathways, and scaling innovative models for young adults and rural workers.

Her skills and areas of expertise include:

  • Apprenticeship and work-based learning
  • Public policy
  • Program design and implementation
  • Rural economic development
  • Youth development

Before joining JFF, Bennett led national service initiatives, provided technical assistance on apprenticeship, and informed policy efforts at YouthBuild USA.

Educational background:

  • Bachelor’s degree in history, University of New Hampshire
  • Master’s degree in public policy, Northeastern University

Her expertise includes:

  • Apprenticeship and work-based learning
  • Youth development
  • Community and economic development, specifically within rural areas
  • Public policy
  • Program design and development

Before joining JFF, Vanessa was the senior manager of career pathways at YouthBuild USA. In that role, she led national service initiatives, provided technical assistance to local programs implementing pre-apprenticeship training, and informed policy efforts to drive equity and access to work and education for young adults ages 16-24. Before that, she provided direct service programming for youth in rural New Hampshire.

Vanessa represents JFF on the Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps, the advisory board for the Institute for Community Inclusion’s Rural Youth Apprenticeship Project, and Rural Youth Catalyst’s national working group on youth development. She speaks on issues related to economic advancement for young adults and economic development for rural communities.

She says she was drawn to JFF because the organization’s reach and visibility provide an opportunity to drive innovation and change in our work and education systems while investing in the organizations and communities directly serving workers and learners.

Vanessa has a master’s in public policy from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire.

She is an avid reader and lover of all things outdoors.