Virginia Ready Names Loretta Penn as New Chairman to its Leadership Board

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The former IBM exec’s staffing expertise will further VA Ready’s mission to get Virginian’s back to work

“As a founding member of the VA Ready board, Loretta has offered valuable insights as in our work to continue our mission of helping Virginians find career success at a time when they need it most.” -Caren Merrick, CEO of VA Ready

The Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready), a 501(c)(3) public-private partnership dedicated to retraining unemployed Virginians and helping them secure in-demand jobs, announced today a new Chairman, Loretta Penn.

Prior to joining VA Ready, Penn served as President of Spherion Staffing Services, where she led the company’s largest division. In total, she brings over 25 years of experience in the staffing industry, plus another 10 in sales, marketing and executive management positions with IBM Corporation.

“As a founding member of the VA Ready board, Loretta has offered valuable insights as in our work to continue our mission of helping Virginians find career success at a time when they need it most,” said Caren Merrick, CEO of VA Ready.

Penn is currently an adjunct professor at George Washington University and founder and President of PECC, LLC, an executive coaching and consulting company that helps C-suite, senior executives, business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals to create greater alignment between business goals, vision and profitability.

“I’ve spent most of my career developing innovative, creative and sustainable solutions for executives in workforce management, strategic planning, talent acquisition and retention,” said Penn. “Being able to use my life work in this new and meaningful way is something I am so grateful for.”

VA Ready was founded in June 2020 with the goal of helping under- or unemployed Virginians get back to work. The program operates as a partnership between the Virginia Community College System's (VCCS) 23 colleges, the Commonwealth's FastForward program, and numerous leading businesses across the state.

Scholars can enroll in one of 34 Virginia Ready supported certificates programs – which aim to teach students the skills to get in-demand jobs in high-growth sectors like IT, healthcare, and manufacturing – and rewards scholars with a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award upon program completion and passage of their respective certification test.

Scholars also have the opportunity to interview with over 20 VA Ready business partners, including PwC, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, Carilion Clinic, Genworth Financial, Bank of America, BAE Systems and others, by posting their resume on VA Ready’s job opportunities board.

For more information about VA Ready or to apply for the program, visit https://vaready.org/

About the Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready)
VA Ready is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that launched in June 2020 with a mission to help thousands of under and unemployed Virginians access the short-term training needed to get back to work in today’s most in-demand jobs. With its Public-Private-Partnership design, VA Ready brings together the Virginia Community College System's (VCCS) 23 colleges, the Commonwealth's FastForward program, and more than 20 business partners who employ millions of Virginians. VA Ready Scholars have access to 34 healthcare, technology and other skilled training programs; learn the skills needed to secure one of today's most in-demand positions; receive $1,000 upon credential completion; and are connected to VA Ready's business partners for interview opportunities. Learn more at https://vaready.org/

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Nicole Tidei
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