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Gwen Wood


Gwen Wood served as the Chief Operating Officer at Kinexus, where she was responsible for providing leadership Workforce/Education, Community and Business Development Services.  As COO she provided staff support to Kinexus Group Board and committees. 


Prior to coming to Kinexus, Gwen served as executive leadership support to an Upper Peninsula Workforce Development Board that set forth strategic policies to build the economic viability of the region’s business and industry, workforce and career development systems.


Gwen has an extensive background in grant writing and project management for a variety of workforce and economic development initiatives under the United States Department of Labor, US Department of Commerce Small Business Administration, Department of Defense and the State of Michigan.  Funded projects included, the United States Department of Labor’s Regional Innovation Grant that resulted in a regional Economic and Workforce Impact study of the Upper Peninsula and Northeast Wisconsin, the Upper Michigan Green Aviation Cluster Initiative, a business attraction project for regional and local airports, the Lockheed Martin Fincantieri Marinette Marine, US Navy Littoral Combat ship award and the Upper Peninsula -Lower Northern Michigan Great Up North Regional Entrepreneurial Collaborative. 


Gwen was also selected as a mentor to the South Central Virginia Workforce Development Board under the United States Department of Labor’s National Business Learning Partnership.  Gwen was instrumental in the development of the Upper Peninsula Healthcare Roundtable, the Upper Peninsula Construction Trades Regional Skills Alliance, and the Delta County Tourism Regional Skills Alliance business coalitions that have had continued success.


She also successfully designed and implemented a United States Department of Labor, award winning summer youth program, “Earn While You Learn,” a contextualized work-based learning program that stemmed summer learning loss in over 90% of participants. As Chief Operating Officer, she established an in-school dropout prevention program across the central upper Peninsula School districts, incorporating tutoring, remedial education, work-based learning projects and supportive services.


Gwen also developed and implemented the Upper Peninsula’s Career Connections Group (Educational Advisory Group) assisting private sector co-chairs and education members in the development and implementation of career preparation activities including adult education services under the Partnership for Adult Learning- PAL Section 107 A, State of Michigan Department of Education.


She is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, with a major in Psychology/Organizational Behavior and Business Administration.  Gwen is also a graduate of Western Michigan University and the Michigan Economic Development Association’s Economic Development certification courses. She is a certified Green Belt under Whirlpool Corporations CCOpex Six Sigma program.


Gwen has been active in various organizations. She served as President of the Upper Michigan Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development, member of the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance, member of the Society for Human Resource Management, member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, and Michigan Economic Developer’s Association where she was the recipient of the 2010 President’s Award.


Gwen is past member Delta County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, past Secretary for the Masonville Township Planning Commission, past Member, Change Agents Group, and current volunteer Buchanan Township Election Worker.

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