July 28, 2020
Drawing upon his passion for workforce development and program management, Dr. Justin Arnold has joined the RPC as its new Workforce Development director. Based at the Illinois workNet Center (1307 N. Mattis Avenue in Champaign), he will advise the local Chief Elected Officials (CEO) Consortium on the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of a fully integrated and effective public workforce investment system.
Dr. Arnold’s experience includes taking on a leadership role in a nonprofit organization and teaching personal enrichment courses to teens, young adults, and families. Based on his commitment to community education, he was awarded a scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. While studying economic development and corporate training, he provided consulting to business, government, and nonprofit organizations while serving on community boards. And while he was earning his doctorate, he taught a college business economics course and worked as a regional consultant for a Department of Defense small business program.
“I’m excited to become a part of the RPC and lead Local Workforce Innovation Area 17 as the Workforce Development Director, as well as make a home in the Champaign-Urbana area,” Dr. Arnold comments. “Through my work with East Central Illinois workNet, I look forward to helping advance the RPC’s vision of providing innovative, high-quality, sustainable services that improve the lives of all residents.”
The RPC’s Workforce Development program, otherwise known as East Central Illinois workNet, assists clients with job search resources while providing specific education and training opportunities for low-income, underemployed, and dislocated workers in Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, and Piatt Counties. As Director, Dr. Arnold will collaborate with partner organizations to identify and execute effective workforce development programs and initiatives in the region. He will also be accountable for the strategic implementation of the board’s policies and directives, as well as be responsible for the successful management, compliant administration, skilled operational performance, and financial integrity of all procedures, programs, and activities of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grants and local contracts.
Dr. Arnold’s post-doctorate work included working in higher education to develop strategies for and build the capacity of regional workforce development efforts, including apprenticeship programs, high school career academies, industry councils, business services, and local public policy. He has coached clients to further their education, become competitive in job markets, build financial assets, and explore entrepreneurship.
The RPC’s Workforce Development program, East Central Illinois workNet, is based at the Illinois workNet Center and is focused on helping meet the needs of businesses, job seekers, and those who want to further their careers. The RPC maintains additional Workforce Development offices in Tuscola, Paxton, Watseka, and Monticello.