Dr. Lisa M. Bly-Jones joined the Chicago Jobs Council as CEO in 2021. As CEO, she leads the organization’s capacity building, member engagement, and policy advocacy agenda.
Prior to taking the helm as the Jobs Council’s CEO, Dr. Bly-Jones was the executive director of The Workforce Connection in Rockford, Ill. She was responsible for leadership and implementation of strategic workforce development initiatives serving Boone, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties in Northern Illinois.
With oversight of Workforce Development, Community Education and Continuing Education divisions on community college campuses in Illinois and Tennessee, she led numerous national workforce projects for public and private funders by designing and developing occupational training programs that led to employment.
Prior to her work in community colleges, she was the Chief Professional Officer (CPO) of the South-Southwest Suburban United Way where she responsible for merging and restructuring a regional organization. Utilizing strategic planning, board management and community outreach to build strategic business alliances, Dr. Bly-Jones increased their annual giving campaigns every year to allocate funds to health and human service agencies in diverse communities throughout the suburban Cook County region.
She has more than 20 years of experience in training and development and shares her expertise as a speaker at national and state conferences. She teaches courses and leads workshops for large and small groups, in addition to facilitating round-table discussions and town hall meetings.
Dr. Bly-Jones has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with Stewardship, Leadership & Learning as a concentration from the University of St. Francis, an M.A. in Communications and Training and a B.A. in Media Communications from Governors State University, and an A.A. from Moraine Valley Community College.
She has served as the Midwest regional liaison for the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) to advance workforce development policy and programs at the local, state, and federal level and is part of NAWB’s taskforce to improve racial equity in the Workforce System. Dr. Bly-Jones was president of the Illinois Workforce Partnership (IWP) and co-chairs the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB) Equity Taskforce. She was a board member of the Regional 1 Planning Council (R1PC) and named one of Rockford’s 2021 People You Should Know. She hosted the Workforce Wisdom Podcast and spoke with business and industry leaders from across the country.
Dr. Bly-Jones is humbled and inspired by what she accomplishes with others. She integrates her workforce development expertise with her community college campus experiences and applies an equity lens to increase diversity and establish inclusive communities that provide a sense of belonging.
Her first job was as a receptionist/clerk for a cleaner’s in her apartment building. She was responsible for tagging and bagging clothes that went out to the cleaners for the residents.