Lisa Baragar Katz, Executive Director
Lisa Baragar Katz is Executive Director of the newly-formed Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) of Southeast Michigan. WIN is a consortium of 7 Michigan Works! Agencies and 8 community colleges formed to create a comprehensive and cohesive talent system that provides regional employers with the talent they need for success.
In pursuing WIN’s objectives, Lisa draws on years of experience working on the formation and implementation of talent-led community transformation efforts. This includes strategies to support job creation, help firms and workers move from declining to growing industry sectors, and enhance workforce-investment system effectiveness. Lisa has supported development of talent-based innovation concepts that have been awarded millions of dollars in federal investment. Recently, she led a group of Southeast Michigan partners in a successful response to the highly competitive White House Jobs & Innovation Accelerator Challenge.
A Michigan native, Lisa has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University’s James Madison College and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. She also undertook graduate studies at the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Dorothy Brown, Team Coordinator, Administration & Communications
Dorothy is the Team Coordinator of the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN). She has over 5 years’ experience in administrative roles, and more specifically dealing with social media and case management. Most recently she worked with non-profit agencies to teach employability skills and secure employment for at-risk youth in the city of Detroit. Dorothy is a Michigan native and holds a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in Psychology, and is currently pursuing her master’s. She is also a high school cheerleading coach and enjoys traveling and spending time with her two daughters.
Rebecca Cohen, Director, Research & Policy
Rebecca Cohen is Director of Research and Policy of the newly-formed Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) of Southeast Michigan. In this role she works with eight community colleges, seven workforce development agencies, and an array of business, economic development, and other stakeholders to develop a cohesive regional talent system. Her role focuses on developing a system for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of real-time labor market intelligence to inform workforce and education providers and policy development. The vision is improved attraction and retention of employers and workers, supporting regional prosperity and jobs.
Rebecca draws on her experience with regional and statewide workforce policy best practice trends from across the country. This includes leading edge strategies that support local workforce boards and community colleges in their efforts to continually improve, collaborate with regional stakeholders, and become even more employer-driven. Rebecca served as principal researcher on several reports for states and regions across the country that utilized labor market analysis from multiple data sources to inform policy and investment decisions. Other efforts, based in Michigan and nationwide, include increasing regional entrepreneurship, bringing partners together to create and evaluate employer-driven workforce collaboratives, and enhancing performance of the public workforce system. While living in Ohio, Rebecca helped lead a statewide public policy initiative for early childhood education. She built the Groundwork Ohio Campaign into a trusted resource for the media, state and local leaders and policy makers, with a sustained and still-active network of advocates across the state.
Though Rebecca is a West Virginia native, she has close family ties to southeast Michigan and the city of Detroit. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.
Al Lecz, Director, Employer Strategies (advanced manufacturing)
Alan (Al) Lecz is Director of Employer Strategies in the newly formed Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan. In this role, he works with regional employers, as customers, to understand their workforce talent needs and connect them with resources and services available through WIN partnerships and stakeholders. His vision of greatness for WIN is a workforce talent development and supply system, aligned to the many organizations and processes already working in the region, which will provide new and prosperous levels of attraction and retention of employers and employees. Key partners to implement this vision include the region’s community colleges and universities, workforce development agencies, economic developers and industry representatives.
Alan brings nearly five years’ experience collaborating with the region’s nine community colleges in developing regional educational capacity and leveraging unique Centers of Expertise Programs. He has been involved with a variety of businesses and industry support groups seeking new educational programs and talent pipelines for automotive, alternative energy, utility energy, water treatment, advanced manufacturing, defense and information technology. He has also worked with K-12 systems and major advocates of project-based STEM learning, including the Ford Fund, the Design and Manufacturing Alliance, and Project Lead the Way.
Alan possesses engineering and supervisory experience from Ford Motor Company, Powertrain Engineering, where he worked in product development and manufacturing engineering for over 36 years. He was a lead university recruiter for the Ford College Graduate Program and Summer Internships. His experience includes program management, human resource development, systems and component engineering, and organizational development.
Alan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt in Customer Driven Quality Processes from Ford Motor Company.
Tricia Walding-Smith, Project Manager, Research & Policy
Tricia Walding-Smith is Project Manager of Research and Policy for the newly-formed Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan. In this role she works with eight community colleges, seven workforce development agencies, and an array of business, economic development, and other stakeholders to develop a cohesive regional talent system. Her role focuses on collecting, analyzing, and disseminating real-time labor market intelligence to inform workforce and education providers and policy development. The vision is improved attraction and retention of employers and workers, supporting regional prosperity and jobs.
Tricia draws on her experience as a project coordinator for a southeast Michigan Defense and Homeland Security Industries Coordination Grant, which developed leadership and strategy for the growth of the industries and the regional workforce in the defense/homeland security sectors within Southeast Michigan. Through this project, Tricia helped pull stakeholders together to develop a strategic action plan to promote the region with the end goal of increasing employment. Other efforts include roles in the field of emergency management which included efforts to increase coordination between emergency response organizations.