President, The Manufacturing Institute
In January 2008, Jennifer McNelly joined The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
Since assuming this role, Ms. McNelly has supported the Institute’s efforts to launch and implement a strategic national agenda on education reform and workforce development, innovation support and services, and research on behalf of U.S. manufacturers. Ms. McNelly is the chief architect of one of the Institute’s flagship reform efforts, the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. The System is a set of nationally portable, industry-recognized manufacturing skills certifications now influencing secondary and post-secondary education reform efforts in over 20 states.
Prior to joining The Manufacturing Institute, Ms. McNelly was a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Ms. McNelly served as the Administrator for the Office of Regional Innovation and Transformation and managed ETA’s regional offices, working collaboratively with the national program offices to ensure an integrated workforce investment approach that promotes the critical role talent development plays in creating effective regional economic development strategies. Under her leadership, regional offices promoted collaboration beyond traditional strategies for worker preparation by bringing together state, local and federal entities; academic institutions; investment groups; foundations; and business to address the challenges associated with building a globally competitive and prepared workforce.
Ms. McNelly also served as the Director of the Business Relations Group for ETA. In this capacity, she managed the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative and the Community Based Job Training Grants. These initiatives take a groundbreaking approach to closing skills gaps by developing solutions to workforce challenges and creating partnerships among business, academic institutions and the workforce community.
Prior to joining the Department of Labor, Ms. McNelly served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, LLC, an international consulting firm specializing in assisting Fortune 500 corporations to build strategic partnerships with government agencies in support of workforce development.