Howard Community College Leader Selected for Baltimore Region Workforce Leadership Academy
The United Way of Maryland selected Howard Community College (HCC) Vice President of Workforce, Innovation, and Strategic Partnerships Minah Woo as a member of the inaugural fellowship class of the Baltimore Region Workforce Leadership Academy. Developed through a partnership with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, the academy engages regional leaders in advancing an innovative and equitable workforce ecosystem.
Woo will join other fellows from nonprofits, government, academia, and business to tackle challenges faced by workers and businesses in the Baltimore region, with the goal of improving economic mobility and workforce development efforts. Through a series of workshops and retreats, the fellowship – which begins April 18 – will culminate with a collaborative capstone project presentation in December.
“The Workforce Leadership Academy is a wonderful opportunity for Minah Woo to connect with other leaders to address some of this region’s most challenging issues in workforce development,” said Dr. Daria J. Willis, president of HCC. “Her growth mindset, servant leadership, and entrepreneurial skills have always benefited Howard Community College students and employees, so I now look forward to her using her talents to build relationships and serve the broader community.”
Woo has been the driving force behind the creation of registered apprenticeship programs at HCC. More than 80% of HCC students attend classes part time due to family and other obligations, while regional employers struggle with attracting and retaining workforce talent. The apprenticeship programs are a win-win solution for both students and employers by bringing new talent into the workforce. After starting the programs in 2019, HCC has grown from 12 apprentices in one program to 270 apprentices across 12 occupations, from heating and air conditioning, construction management, and plumbing to surgical technologist, information technology, and electrical.
Woo represents HCC at the local, state, and national levels as an apprenticeship expert. She served as a panelist at the White House Cyber Workforce Challenge Culminating Event during the 2022 National Apprenticeship Week. She currently is a member of two Maryland State Joint Commission task forces on registered apprenticeships and a member of Maryland Department of Labor workgroups on apprenticeships.
Earlier in her career, Woo was critical to the creation of programs that provide access to English instruction and career development. The English Institute, an intensive English program for F1 international students, is the only program of its kind among Maryland community colleges. The Skilled Immigrant Program provides educated professionals from different countries the opportunity to build social capital and access career opportunities and work-specific English instruction.
The Baltimore Region Workforce Leadership Academy is the first in the region, and one of eight that will launch this year with support from Walmart, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
More information about the academy is available at https://uwcm.org/workforce-leadership-academy