Ron Hearns is a senior level manager with more than 25 years of business experience. He has an extensive background in employment and training programs that highlight business operations and workforce development projects. He is analytical and a conceptual thinker who strategically partners with decision makers to create opportunities for disadvantaged individuals. Ron currently works as director of Midwest Workforce Operations at KRA Corp, where he oversees and directs strategic development.
What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
My vision for the workforce development profession is that each member utilizes the training and resources available to them to assess their strengths and skills to help guide them towards advancing our profession. Each individual member should aspire to a leadership role in one of the following core areas of project management, case management, business services, grant writing, and quality assurance & quality control. Members should attend local and national workforce development conferences.
Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
My particular interest or focus is on assessing staff training needs and developing methods to increase staff performance. Sometimes refresher training is necessary, so I and my team leads provide one-on-one training with some of our stronger staff members in order to develop strengths within our team. Part of my passion is to develop annual work plans that identify long-term objectives, establish short-term goals, & specific activities that will improve the effectiveness of our team members.
Why do you want to serve on the Board?
In the past, I have served as a board member to the Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce and I currently serve on the Youth Connection Charter School Board as the vice president. In those roles, I have been an active member in organizational planning and decision making, acted in the best interests of the organizations, and remained faithful to their mission. Because of these reasons, it would be an honor to serve on the NAWDP Board.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
I believe our biggest challenge is identifying and grooming the next generation of leaders in the profession. I have noticed a decline in the attendance at the Youth Symposium and the Annual Conference. Members should be challenged to recruit more members as current leaders retire or move on to other areas of interest. NAWDP should investigate offering more regional conferences to galvanize the local support in each of the regions. Additional marketing and outreach would be a plus.