Lindsey Woolsey is President and principal consultant of The Woolsey Group, LLC. The Woolsey Group is a research, technical assistance and facilitation firm that works with CEOs and industry leadership to better connect their needs to education, training and economic development programs in their states and local areas. The Woolsey Group's mission is two-fold: to ensure industries thrive and grow in their regional and local economies, and to get people the right education and training at the right time for the jobs that exist now in their local labor market. This work involves high-levels of industry engagement; understanding industry trends and opportunities; community partnership building; and knowledge about student and worker advancement policy and practice. The Woolsey Group is small by design to allow maximum flexibility and customization for clients. Ms. Woolsey selectively partners with national experts and consultants that she most trusts to deliver high quality services depending on a project’s unique needs.
Ms. Woolsey is a national expert in the field of industry sector and cluster strategies. For over a decade she has studied the policy and program elements of successful industry strategies, including engaging industry; the role of intermediaries; coordination of programs to support employers and workers; career pathways; work-based learning; rural economies; and evaluation and benchmarking models. She is published in each of these areas. Ms. Woolsey has worked at the state policy level in some capacity in half of the states in the U.S., and intensively with over a dozen. Her work also involves direct facilitation and coaching to local workforce, education and economic development organizations to design, launch and sustain partnerships with industry. She is known for her unique capacity to engage CEOs directly, harness their passions, and sustain their co-investment in shared solutions to pressing workforce and other issues. She has facilitated partnerships in healthcare, manufacturing, energy, technology, agriculture, natural resources, tourism, bioscience, aerospace, and the creative industries. Ms. Woolsey is renowned for her facilitation abilities, often called upon to facilitate critical conversations with CEOs, Governors and their Cabinets, and other groups.
Ms. Woolsey was a lead designer in Colorado’s “next generation” sector partnerships effort, now a national model for developing and sustaining local industry partnerships in their 14 economic regions. She also is facilitator and author of Colorado’s Career Pathway model and step-by-step toolkit, also seen as exemplar nationally for integrating career advancement in education and training with on-the-ground industry partnerships. Currently Ms. Woolsey is also an advisor and facilitator on industry engagement and sector partnership projects in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Texas, Hawaii and California, and recently in Oregon, Montana, Louisiana and Washington State. In 2015 she completed a 4-year sector partnership initiative in Arizona. In each of these states, as with all her work, Ms. Woolsey advises at the state policy level as well as the local implementation level. In some cases, she provides light coaching to Workforce Investment Boards, Job Centers, Colleges and schools, Chambers of Commerce and other organizations; in other cases she directly prototypes the facilitation of design, launch and ongoing activities of specific industry partnerships. She has been directly involved in implementation or assessment of over fifty local industry partnerships over the past ten years. In addition to her larger projects, Ms. Woolsey is frequently called on by many states and local areas for her expertise in industry strategy efforts. In addition to her larger projects, she has advised in Washington State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and West Virginia. In 2017-18, her experience and model of industry partnerships was acknowledged by JP Morgan Chase Foundation which provided funding for a national learning community (Next Gen Sector Partnerships). Visit www.nextgensectorpartnerships.com for more. In 2014-15, Lindsey served as a senior advisor to a U.S DOL ETA Sector Strategy project. She was a plenary speaker at each of DOL’s three national convenings across the country as part of this project, and a head coach for the team of coaches responsible for technical assistance to 12 sites across the country. From 2011-2013, she was a senior technical assistance provider for U.S. DOL Recovery Act grantees focused on green jobs, healthcare and other emerging industries. Also in 2013, she acted as the only contracted female-faculty member to the National Governors Association 8-state Advanced Manufacturing Policy Academy.
Ms. Woolsey is widely published across a variety of industry partnership and related topics, and frequently asked to speak at events and conferences. The Pew Charitable Trusts commissioned her to write a short history of sector strategies and implications on disconnected youth in 2015. Her 2013 National Governors Association paper, Sector Strategies Coming of Age, is still a flagship publication for Governors. Featured in the paper is a concept and framework that connects sector partnerships, career pathways, and industry cluster growth. Since publication this concept has become a hot topic for discussion across the country at local, state and federal levels.
Prior to consulting, Ms. Woolsey directed the Business and Industry Strategies team at the non-profit Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, spear-heading the organization’s industry engagement portfolio. Before joining CSW, Ms. Woolsey conducted research, provided technical assistance and managed national projects as a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Governors Association. Lindsey earned a Masters of Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University where she focused on workforce and economic development, including coursework in emerging financial markets from the School for Advanced International Studies. She earned her BA from American University in International Studies, where she studied economic development. Lindsey resides on Bainbridge Island in Washington State with her husband, twin five-year old sons and Australian Shepherd.