Jefferson County Business Education Alliance Names New Executive Director
Kathy Stafford has been named Executive Director of the Jefferson County Business Education Alliance (JCBEA).
JCBEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that high school students are workforce ready. Founded in 2011, its mission is simple but profound: to expose high school students to the dynamic business needs in each of their communities and to train them on the soft skills needed to successfully navigate in the business world. JCBEA acts as a guide in transitioning students from the controlled atmosphere of a classroom into the untested waters of an adult work place.
To accomplish its mission, JCBEA offers two specific programs for high school students. Youth Leadership Jefferson County incorporates one eight-hour session, once a month designed to build an understanding of the fabric that makes up a community for our future leaders. The sessions include Justice Day, Health and Medical Day, Human Services and Education Day, Business Day, Government Day, Smart Cities and Technology, Innovation & Artificial Intelligence. The second signature program is JCBEA’s Career Readiness Program, a series of six 90-minute classes taught by members of the business community that incorporate basic business etiquette, conflict resolution, multi-generational work styles, professional writing skills, networking, financial responsibility, public presentations, resume writing, interviewing skills and more. Successful graduates of this program receive completion certificates that give them priority interviewing opportunities with businesses that are designated as priority hiring partners.
“JCBEA has already made a huge impact on students in the communities we serve. I look forward to growing our presence within Jefferson County and expanding our accomplishments based on the needs of our businesses and students alike,” said Stafford.
Stafford has had extensive experience in business management. She recently retired from a commercial banking career that spanned over 30 years. In her banking role she managed overall relationships for municipalities, non-profits, educational clients, hospitals, and other middle-market firms. Kathy has also owned consulting businesses over the years, providing management oversight to clients in high growth, turnaround, and acquisition modes. She attended Metropolitan State University where she majored in Finance and minored in Accounting.
“Kathy Stafford has been a pillar in the Jefferson County Business Community. Her expertise in managing business, networking in the community and her dedication to the non-profit community makes her the perfect fit for our organization. Prior to offering her the position of Executive Director, Kathy served on the JCBEA Board of Directors. Her passion for helping our future workforce become workplace ready is unwavering.” stated Aimee Skul, Chairman of the JCBEA Board of Directors.
A Denver native, Stafford has a true passion for giving back to the community, focusing on assisting youth to achieve success. She recently served on the Board of Directors, was an Executive Committee member, and chaired the Development Committee for Family Tree. She has served on the boards for Kids Pages Cares, the Arvada Jefferson Kiwanis Club, and the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. Stafford is a graduate of the 2004 class of Leadership Jefferson County where she organized and led the class project of gathering clothing and toys for underprivileged youth in Jefferson County.
JCBEA’s programs continue to grow in popularity. Since 2015, its Career Readiness Program has served 303 students through fifteen Career Readiness courses. In 2017 alone, 102 students received a Career Readiness certification. With the upcoming 2018 – 2019 school year, JCBEA is currently scheduling more Career Readiness Programs with various schools through the Jeffco School District.
The Youth Leadership Jefferson County was transitioned to JCBEA only one year ago, previously managed through a local chamber of commerce program. Last year JCBEA graduated a class of 13 young adults and recently launched a new class of 15 students that will begin in the fall.