Workforce Development Advisory CommitteeThe Community Foundation of Will County
The Goal of the Workforce Development Advisory Committee
Using the generous Amazon investment as impetus, establish a long-term collaboration focused on identifying and investing in workforce development programs that benefit Will County.
- Establish an Advisory Committee comprising the leaders of Will County colleges and universities (Lewis, St. Francis, Governors State, JJC), Will County CED, Workforce Investment Board of Will County and the Will County Regional Superintendent of Education. The Advisory Committee will provide strategic direction and oversight and will be encouraged to leverage SMEs and resources within their organizations to create a robust collaboration.
- Establish ‘investment’ criteria and a grant process for workforce development programs in Will County.
- Establish metrics and accountability for grant recipients.
- Ensure the program is scalable and sustainable to encourage future investment.
- Leverage existing resources to establish grant criteria, process, metrics, etc. for expediency and efficiency.
- Promote fund, grants and outcomes to encourage additional investment.
Community Foundation of Will County Announces First Round of Funding for Workforce Development, Education Grant
$500,000 Donation from Amazon Will Fund Grants that Support Local Workforce Development, Education.
The fund will invest in projects and programs related to workforce readiness, training gaps and staff retention that benefit Will County residents and businesses.
The first round of funding and applications will be accepted until February 4, 2022.
Sign Up to Receive Email Updates From the Workforce Development Advisory Committee
Support the Workforce Development Advisory Committee Through the Center for Economic Development Education Fund
Meet The Workforce Development Advisory Committee
Dr. David Livingston
Chair of the Committee, President, Lewis University
Dr. David Livingston Bio
Dr. David J. Livingston, 10th President, Lewis University
Dr. David J. Livingston took office as Lewis University’s 10th President on July 1, 2016. Since arriving at Lewis, the University has completed a successful Capital Campaign, constructed the new Br. James Gaffney Student Center and added academic and athletic programs. Lewis has also risen to become a top twenty regional university according to the U.S. News & World Report.
Dr. Livingston previously served as President of Lourdes University from 2013 to 2016. Prior to his presidency at Lourdes University, he served Mercyhurst University for 16 years in various capacities, including Chair of Religious Studies Department, President of the Faculty Senate and Vice President for Advancement.
A native of Dundee, he received his B.A. in Chemistry from Augustana College, his M.A. in Theology from Loyola University, and his Ph.D. in Theology from Vanderbilt University.
He has been married to his wife for over thirty years and they have two adult children, Matt and Sara.
Dr. Cheryl Green
President, Governors State University
Dr. Cheryl Green Bio
Dr. Cheryl Green brings more than 30 years of professional experience in higher education to her role as the President of Governors State University, and as the leader of the Jaguar family. A passionate educator and administrator, Green believes fiercely in the power of education to change lives. Throughout her career, she has pioneered the innovation of academic enrichment opportunities and student success initiatives that promote increased retention and graduation rates for first generation and non-traditional college students.
Most recently, Green served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, as Interim Chancellor for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater,
and as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Tennessee State University.
Before her time at Tennessee State University, Dr. Green served at Chicago State University in a variety of administrative and academic roles, including director/chair of the counseling department, dean of first-year students, acting associate director of career placement, and as a tenured associate professor of counseling. In addition, Green served as the statewide representative for 2,700 faculty and staff in her role as the Grievance Officer for the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) Local 4100 for seven public universities.
Her fiscal experience includes the budget management of more than $300 million dollars at three universities. Throughout her career she has served as the primary or contributing author for multiple grants which yielded more than $5million dollars in revenue. Most of her scholarly research has been focused on increasing student achievement and delivering community based health initiatives for diverse student populations.
Green’s community service work spans the United States and has included serving on numerous advisory boards or boards of directors. Recently, she has been active on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute STEM Grant Advisory Board of UW Madison; the Manchester University Board of Trustees; the Will County Center for Economic Board of Directors; the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning-Regional Economic Workforce Task Force; the Association of Governing Board Council of Presidents; and the Equity Working Group for Black Student Success in Illinois Higher Education. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Psi Zeta Omega Chapter of Knoxville, Tennessee. Clearly, Dr. Green is dedicated to making a difference in our community.
Green has a Ph.D. and master’s degree in counseling psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Manchester College (now Manchester University) in North Manchester, Indiana. She also holds a National Incident Management System certificate from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Institute, has been trained in crisis intervention, and is a recognized leader in grievance mediation and conflict resolution.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Green is also the loving mother of two adult children who constantly keep her inspired to believe in the worth and potential of all human beings and to make a difference in the world. Her hobbies include attending live theatre, music concerts, reading books, studying history, collecting art and antiques, and traveling internationally.
President and CEO, Will County Center for Economic Development
John Greuling Bio
John Greuling has over 40 years of experience as a professional economic developer. He is currently the President and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development (CED) and Will County Economic Development Foundation—a position he has held since 2001. Among his priorities are business recruitment and retention expansion. His specialty is the recruitment of large capital-intensive, high job-generating projects, as well as major public infrastructure developments.
John is a graduate of Illinois State University, with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. In 2016 John received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Lewis University for his economic development accomplishments in Will County. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute.
John is a member of the International Economic Development Council, Land Economics Society, Industrial Asset Management Council, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Intermodal Association of North America, Illinois State Freight Advisory Council and Rotary International.
Dr. Arvid Johnson
President, University of St. Francis
Dr. Arvid Johnson Bio
Arvid C. Johnson was installed as the ninth President of the University of St. Francis in June 2013. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in physics (Lewis University, Romeoville, IL) and a master’s degree in electrical engineering (Northeastern University, Boston, MA), Arvid holds an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC), and a PhD in management science from the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL).
Prior to joining the University of St. Francis, Arvid served as the Dean of the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University since 2008 – and as a Professor of Management since 2001. He presently serves on several boards including the Illinois Council on Economic Education, Will County Center for Economic Development, National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley, and AMITA Saint Joseph Medical Center Community Leadership Board.
Prior to entering academia on a full-time basis in 2001, Arvid had over 15 years of engineering, manufacturing, and senior management experience in a variety of defense/aerospace businesses – including Northrop Grumman Corporation, Microwave Laboratories, and Varian Associates. Within the marketing research industry, he founded and served as the chair of Information Resources, Inc.’s Analytics Advisory Board from 2003-2008 – and led that company’s efforts to establish a global research and development function.
Arvid has published and presented extensively in the areas of quantitative analysis, microwave materials processing, advanced manufacturing practices, and strategic management – and holds 14 US (and dozens of foreign) patents. His extensive list of publications includes 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters and custom textbooks, 42 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and 79 conference presentations.
Dr. Judy Mitchell
President, Joliet Junior College
Dr. Judy Mitchell Bio
Dr. Judy L. Mitchell is Joliet Junior College’s ninth president. She was unanimously approved as the college’s president by the JJC Board of Trustees in September 2016; prior to that, she had served in the role of interim president at the college since March 2016.
Mitchell serves on various boards, including Will County Workforce Investment Board, Habitat for Humanity, Will County Center for Economic Development, Grundy Economic Development Council, and nationally for E and I Cooperative Services. She is a member of Joliet Rotary and the Three Rivers Education Partnership. In addition, she recently served as the keynote speaker at the Joliet Central Fearless Females Z Club Induction Ceremony, sharing her message of persistence and empowerment. The Fearless Females Z Club is the Zonta Club of the Joliet Area. In 2018, Mitchell was honored with the Zonta Club of Joliet’s Woman of Distinction Award for her contributions to improving the status of women in the community.
Additionally, she has led the college budgeting process through the state of Illinois’ fiscal crisis and helped the college reduce its operating costs by over $2 million over four years, in addition to encouraging the pursuit of creative revenue sources like grant dollars to offset operational costs. In FY15, the college garnered more than $5.4 million in grants to offset operational costs.
Under her leadership, the college’s financial team was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the FY2016 budget. This marked the 11th year in a row JJC had received the award for its budget, which is only given to government bodies that meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting and achieve standards of excellence in financial reporting.
Mitchell has worked at the college for 24 years, having started as an administrative assistant in the CIOS department in 1996. In 2001, she served as the program management specialist in Adult and Family Services, followed by the assistant to the director of administrative services in 2002. In 2004 she became interim director of administrative services, and then the director of business and auxiliary services in 2005. In September 2012, she was appointed to the role of VP of administrative services.
Mitchell received her doctorate in community college leadership from National-Louis University in June 2012. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in business and technology from Governors State University. She earned an associate degree in microcomputers for business and computer programming from JJC in 1998.
Director, Workforce Investment Board of Will County
Caroline Portlock Bio
Caroline L. Portlock, Director of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Will County, is responsible for planning and implementing the programs and strategies to ensure a workforce system that is flexible, seamless, and responsive to the needs of both job seekers and employers. As the administrative officer for the WIB, she is charged with implementing policies, procedures, and programs of the Board for the benefit of Will County through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). She is a member of the Workforce Partners of Metro Chicago, the National Association of Workforce Boards, the Illinois Workforce Partners, and the Northern Illinois Workforce Coalition.
She is the Past President/CEO of the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry responsible for the overall marketing, planning and directing operations for the business services organization. Portlock received her PHR Certification through SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) in 2002; completed her MBA at USF (University of St. Francis) in 2004 and IOM Certification (non-profit organizational management) through the US Chamber in 2008. She currently serves as President of the USF Alumni Board, a member of the USF Board of Trustees, and the Kiwanis Club of Joliet.
President, Community Foundation of Will County, Ruettiger, Tonelli & Associates
Rodney Tonelli Bio
Rodney Tonelli is president of Ruettiger, Tonelli & Associates, Inc. – a multidisciplinary design firm based in Will County. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), his professional background is in community planning, transportation planning, land use and real estate development. He holds a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Marquette University and a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Other community involvement includes serving as a director and past chair of the Will County Center for Economic Development, as director and past chair of the Joliet City Center Partnership, director of the Joliet Park Foundation, director at Hometown National Bank, and as an advisory board member of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Joliet Junior College.
Dr. Shawn Walsh
Regional Superintendent of Schools, Will County Regional Office of Education
Dr. Shawn Walsh Bio
Dr. Shawn Walsh was born and raised in Elwood and is a life-long Will County resident. He and his wife Amy have three children and currently reside in Elwood. Walsh attended Joliet Junior College before attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of St. Francis. He earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Governor’s State University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of St. Francis.
Dr. Walsh began his career as a teacher at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School in Joliet. He then was hired by Joliet Public School District 86 working at Hufford and Washington Junior High Schools as a teacher and administrator. In 2007, Dr. Walsh became Assistant Regional Superintendent of School for Will County and was appointed as Will County Regional Superintendent of Schools in February 2013.
Dr. Walsh currently serves on several boards and committees including: Wilco Area Career Center, Will County Center for Community Concerns, Will County Center for Economic Development, Will County Workforce Investment Board, Will County Administrators Organization, Three Rivers Education for Employment System, Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Will County K-12 School Safety Advisory Task Force, and the Alumni Board of Directors at the University of St. Francis. He is also an active member in the Illinois Association of School Administrators and the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools.
The Community Foundation of Will County (CFWC) announced on Thursday, February 25, 2021 that Amazon has donated $500,000 to invest in workforce development and education in Will County. This generous investment allows the CFWC to establish an advisory committee comprising leaders in education, economic development and workforce development (see below). They will bring resources and best practices from their respective organizations to establish criteria and seek opportunities for investment.