National Skills Coalition Board Elects New Executive Committee to Help Lead Fight for an Inclusive Economic Recovery

December 20, 2021

Washington DC – National Skills Coalition today announced the election of a new board Executive Committee that will help lead NSC’s fight for policies that invest in the skills of America’s workers, so that more people have access to a better life and more local businesses see sustained growth coming out of the pandemic.

Dr. Alice Pritchard, Chief of Staff of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, was elected by her peers as board Chair. Pritchard joined the board in 2015 and most recently served as the board’s Treasurer. Pritchard is a long-standing leader within National Skills Coalition, including her founding of one of NSC’s earliest state coalitions—the Campaign for a Working Connecticut—while she was Executive Director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund.  She has spent more than three decades conducting research, advocacy, and technical assistance on issues related to workforce development and higher education.  In 2013 National Skills Coalition recognized Pritchard’s leadership in these areas by awarding her its annual Skills Champion Award.

“I am honored to take on the role of Board Chair for National Skills Coalition, an organization with a twenty-year track record of shaping, winning, and helping to implement hundreds of policies that have put people on a path to better jobs, helped businesses grow, and built local economies,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard is succeeding Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, after his four-year tenure as Board Chair. Scott will remain on the Executive Committee for an additional year in the role of Past Chair.

Girard J. Melancon, Ph.D. Vice Chancellor for Workforce Solutions at Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) will now serve as the board’s Vice Chair.  Dr. Melancon has worked with sector-based workforce training programs for over 20 years. Over these years, he has invested more than 150 million foundation and taxpayer dollars into progressive workforce development initiatives. Dr. Melancon has served on both Democratic and Republican Governors’ workforce transition teams, addressing Louisiana’s disconnected populations’ workforce needs. In 2019, Dr. Melancon received the National Skills Coalition Skills Champion Award.  

Rory O’Sullivan, former Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will serve as board Treasurer. O’Sullivan led the federal higher education policy portfolio at the Gates Foundation. Previously, O’Sullivan was one of the co-founders of Young Invincibles, a national working to address policies impacting young adults’ economic security, including in the areas of higher education, workforce development and employment.

Jessica Fraser, Director of the Indiana Community Action Poverty Institute, will continue in her role as board Secretary. Jessica is a coalition-builder who created and still runs the Indiana Skills to Compete campaign, which brings together policymakers, service providers, fellow advocates, and funders to the cause of skills training policy in the state. In 2015 Fraser was awarded NSC’s Skills Champion Award for her outstanding leadership in both the state and federal policy arenas.

“National Skills Coalition is, at its heart, an organization led by extraordinary people doing the everyday work — both in their communities and in Washington, D.C.— to rewrite the rules for who gets a chance to succeed in this country,” said NSC CEO Andy Van Kleunen. “I am so appreciative of these Board members who have agreed to become officers, to help guide our Board and at this critical time as we fight for skills policies that will ensure an inclusive economic recovery for local workers and businesses.”

To learn more about the NSC board of directors,  click here.

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National Skills Coalition is a national organization fighting for inclusive, high-quality skills training so that people have access to a better life, and local businesses see sustained growth. We engage in analysis and technical assistance, organizing, advocacy, and communications to improve state and federal skills policies.