Chris Holman welcomes Carrie Rosingana on the Michigan Business Beat. Carrie is the COO, EOO, and newly appointed CEO of the Capital Area Michigan Works! (CAMW!) located in Lansing, MI. Capital Area Michigan Works! is a network of resources and a proud partner of the American Job Center network. They partner with businesses to develop recruiting and retention strategies and we partner with job seekers to enhance education and career opportunities.
Watch the full interview below!
QUESTION: Can you tell us a little bit about how your career has led you to where you are now?
ANSWER: I’ve worked in workforce development since 2007. I started at Peckham, Inc. as a career coach and case manager within the Michigan Works! system, before becoming the quality assurance officer and then the chief compliance officer at CAMW!. Since August 2015, I’ve served as CAMW!’s chief operating officer and equal opportunity officer. I’ve put diversity and inclusion practices into place throughout the agency. It’s really been a career ladder, and I’ve been involved in a lot of the pathways that provide perspectives from the front lines to the administrative staff. We have a dynamic team, and I’m thankful to work with people who inspire me.
QUESTION: What are your goals as the incoming CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works!? ANSWER: My first goal as incoming CEO is to take time to meet with each of CAMW!’s current board members, staff and regional partners. Given the current impact of COVID-19, these meetings may need to be held virtually, but I strongly believe that relationship building is key to the strength of CAMW!. It's important to me to first listen to gain a better understanding of what has worked well for CAMW! to date and to then determine where there are opportunities to strategically innovate and collaborate in the future. We have to maintain the relationships that we’ve built over the years to build our strength and partnerships in the community. We don’t do this alone. It takes a network of people who believe in what we’re doing and are willing to embrace the opportunity to help people and our employers improve their lives and their businesses. Family and community are also so important to me, and my parents really instilled those values of leading by example. They were my earliest role models for what being dedicated to public service looked like, and I have carried these characteristics with me every step of my career, and I will continue to carry those characteristics as the CEO of CAMW!.
QUESTION: What value do those community partnerships and relationships add to CAMW!? ANSWER: A continued focus on community partnerships is a priority to me because it will allow us to better support individuals from a collective impact perspective, which in turn economically assists families and the region for years to come. CAMW! has always valued and cultivated community and regional partnerships because we understand the work we do to assist employers and job seekers doesn’t happen without collaboration. The programs we implement
at CAMW! address removing barriers to employment success, but we also know the customers who come to us may have greater needs for connection to things such as housing resources, food insecurities, child care and health care needs.
By strengthening partnerships in our community, our agency will stand ready to help connect people to the resources and tools they need to be successful — not only in becoming gainfully employed, but also to improve their overall situations.
My priorities related to community partnerships are centered around building upon the good work that’s already been done with long-standing partners in the community, but they don’t end there. I also will be looking into expanded community partnership opportunities in our region. The more connected we are to our community and regional partners, the more resources and supports we will be able to provide to the people and employers we work alongside. Building on relationships and gaining new partnerships will also allow for CAMW! to explore innovative and creative opportunities in ways that perhaps haven’t been done already to positively impact the customers we serve.
QUESTION: What are a couple of examples of community partnerships that CAMW! has? ANSWER: One of our long-standing and vital regional partners is the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. CAMW! and LEAP have continued to be purposeful in looking for opportunities to collaborate due to the close connection between economic development and workforce development. The partnership between our two agencies is so strong that LEAP’s CEO, Bob Trezise, is a member of our Workforce Development Board and CAMW! is also a member of the LEAP board.
Another example of a valued community partnership is the one we have with the Lansing Regional Chamber. Recently, this partnership led to my selection as a part of the RELAUNCH Greater Lansing: Economic Rehabilitation Task Force.
The task force unites a dynamic cross-secJon of partners and community leaders from across the region who were committed to the development of a guide to support regional business practices as re-opening began. The formal guide was released by the RELAUNCH Greater Lansing Task Force and is available as a tool for anyone in the region to access on the Lansing Chamber’s website.
We also have regional collaborations taking place under Teach. Talent. Thrive. (T3), the educational arm of our WDB, which offers opportunities for our regional educational partners, employers and community partners to collectively come together to work to positively impact education, workforce development and employment connections regionally. We are also exploring opportunities to work with the Greater Lansing Convention of Visitor’s Bureau as we recognize the support we can mutually provide to the employers and job seekers we work alongside in our communities.
QUESTION: What are some of your other priorities as the CEO of CAMW!?
ANSWER: For at least the near future, I will continue to serve as the Equal Opportunity Officer for CAMW!, as well as my CEO role. That being said, diversity, equity and inclusion will continue to be at the forefront of my work. As EOO, I’ve been responsible for all activities related to CAMW!’s equal employment opportunity efforts. I understand the critical importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and am proud of the work we have done as a local workforce system to ensure that our policies, practices and procedures support serving all people of our region as well as providing opportunities to link diversity, equity and inclusion resources and trainings to our staff and partners in the community.
The programs that we offer at CAMW! are also a priority for me as the CEO. I started my career at CAMW! as a career coach, working directly with program participants to help them identify their career and educational goals, remove barriers to success and celebrate achievements as they were happening. The services that our career coaches provide to address barrier removal and determine steps for people to reach their goals are truly invaluable. The programs that CAMW! operates offer opportunities that come in all different shapes and sizes, but the common link is the fact that our programs help people in our region. I am passionate about our programs and they’ll always be a priority.