Oddo Named Director of New Workforce Innovation Center at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Jennifer Oddo has been named the executive director of strategic workforce education and innovation at Youngstown State University.

After leading working development efforts at IBM for the past five years, Oddo will now lead the university’s Center for Workforce Education and Innovation, a new center that focuses on closing the skills and opportunity gaps in the Mahoning Valley.

“Traditional workforce development and hiring practices are not yielding consistent results and leading to unfilled positions, higher attrition, poor job satisfaction and increased costs for employers,” Oddo said in a statement.

The new center will work with business partners to build workforce strategies and programs leveraging YSU’s national Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program, preapprenticeship, industry training and credentials.

“Meeting the workforce where they are at in their life and learning journey will be key to building a more resilient workforce,” Oddo said. “Higher education’s ability to innovate and address the modern-day educational needs of our community, combined with employer’s willingness to hire those who are skilled through alternative educational routes, will be key to our economic prosperity.”

Oddo, who holds a bachelor’s degree in international marketing from the University of Akron, has worked in talent and workforce positions at IBM since 2015. She most recently served as IBM’s co-chairwoman of the Consumer Technology Association Apprenticeship Coalition, where she led IBM’s industry initiatives to scale external workforce and apprenticeship initiatives with member companies. 

She has extensive experience in talent acquisition and human resources, including North American talent acquisition manager for Black Box Network Services and director of global recruiting for Whittman-Hart.

Oddo currently serves as co-chairwoman of the National Initiative for Cyber Education Apprenticeship Working Group, Team NEO’s Talent Development Council and is former vice chairwoman of the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council.

Source: YSU News

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.