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The Career Development Toolkit

Career Development Toolkit - Author Bio

Jennifer Leonard started The Skills Library in October 1996 as a small consulting business. She enjoys a business approach that is very flexible, and has worked on a wide variety of projects serving schools, colleges and youth programs. Projects include databases and resources to support School-to-Career programs, research on education and employment programs, research on graduation rates, career development materials, skills portfolio projects, curriculum projects and a variety of web-based projects ranging from online databases to online newsletters to student-designed websites. Many projects are focused on the theme of skill development, reflecting the business name "The Skills Library" and the founding goals of the business.

Jennifer earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in 1983, and a Master's Degree in Economics from Tufts University in 1987. Her fields of concentration in Economics include labor markets and statistics. A position as Research Coordinator in the Evaluation Research Department at the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training (now DCS) provided experience in survey research and database design. Nine years of experience with the Department of Employment and Training, in Research and, later, in Field Operations, provided a strong grounding in employment programs, job markets and the Massachusetts economy. Other past employment includes work in city hall and nonprofit organizations in the Holyoke area and several years of part-time college teaching in Economics, Business and Government.

Jennifer has worked successfully with all ages of youth and college students as a college instructor, K-12 substitute teacher, youth program volunteer, and classroom guest speaker. Since starting The Skills Library she has enjoyed frequent projects in classsrooms with high school youth, working with youth on web projects and other tasks.

Jennifer lives in Boston, Massachusetts where she enjoys neighborhood activities, volunteer community gardening, bicycling, vegetarian cooking, and music and arts activities.

Note from Author

The Career Development Toolkit was inspired by projects that I have worked on over the past several years. As a self-employed consultant, I am fortunate to be able to work with many different projects serving youth in Massachusetts, and so I am familiar with many of the career development goals and approaches used in schools and youth programs. In my personal life, I have also volunteered as a scout leader, and have developed and implemented a variety of career exploration activities for young people. For several years, I also taught Economics part-time at a community college and developed a variety of classroom activities involving analyzing and graphing economic data. Meanwhile, I have also taken time on my own, apart from any professional or volunteer work, to experiment with a variety of career-related activities, developing an online career exploration project called the "Career Outlook Project" and an online "Skills Portfolio," which are both highlighted in this book.

Jennifer Leonard
The Skills Library
Telephone: 781-321-7894