Jen Hetzel Silbert, Senior Project Manager

Jen leads employer outreach and engagement for the Rhode Island O@W team, co-facilitating the design and implementation of TechHire Rhode Island. Primary responsibilities include relationship management with company executives and human resource leaders, as well as cross-sector industry partners and associations. Jen works in close partnership with state and local government leaders, community organizations, workforce development programs, hiring onramps, and education providers to identify, engage, and strengthen employer interest, commitment, and active participation in TechHire Rhode Island efforts, infusing employer demand into the design of local best-in-class education and onramp hiring resources. Jen also supports team communications and social media, staffing and team development, and is head chocolatier.

Jen has an unshakable belief that people can create anything. She brings over 20 years experience in strength-based strategy development, community engagement, and participatory design in cities, schools, Fortune 500 companies, and indigenous villages around the world.

Prior to joining Opportunity@Work, Jen co-founded Spartina Consulting and Learning401, where she led school advisories, parent-educator workshops, and student-run story slams, giving voice to and empowering the Rhode Island public that is public school. She has a knack for facilitating rich dialogue among large, diverse audiences, a skill that supported a statewide process for creating the 2015-20 Rhode Island Strategy for Public Education, engaging over 13,000 educators, students, administrators, policy makers, and community leaders. Jen also facilitated the design of the Newport Skills Alliance, a regional data and demand-driven on-ramp to ready entry-level job seekers for local jobs in key industries. Jen has supported cities and villages around the world building strength-based models for elevating civic voice in service to education, economic development, social entrepreneurship, and workforce development.  Previously, Jen was an organization development consultant for Bearing Point, EDS, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and IBM.

Jen earned a B.S. in International Studies and Economics from American University and a M.S. in Organization Development at Johns Hopkins University. A loyal soccer mom, runner, yogi, and beach bum, Jen is based in South County, Rhode Island, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.