past event
Employment and Jobs

Workforce Leadership Café #4 — Greater Memphis Chamber


In this Workforce Leadership Café, we continue conversations about the importance of talent development for the workforce development field’s own workforce.

Recent Cafés explored this topic with leaders from a workforce board, a community college and statewide intermediary partnership, and philanthropy. This time, we talk with leaders from a chamber of commerce in one of the fastest growing job markets in the country.

Join us to hear from representatives of the Greater Memphis Chamber, which serves as the voice of business in the Memphis, Tennessee, region. How and why have they created opportunities for talent development for the professionals leading the local workforce development ecosystem? We’re looking forward to a conversation with: 

  • Sondra Howell, Vice President of Talent Innovation, Greater Memphis Chamber.
  • Jessica Mosley, Director of Community Development, Greater Memphis Chamber.
  • Amber Covington, Acting Executive Director, Greater Memphis Workforce Development Board.
  • Dee Wallace, Senior Fellow, The Aspen Institute.

After our panel concludes at 2:45 p.m. EST, we’ll welcome all guests — both speakers and attendees — into the Café for an additional 15 minutes of informal discussion.

This is the fourth in a series of five conversations with our partners in local Workforce Leadership Academies. Stay tuned and learn more at

More Events in the Workforce Leadership Café

The field of workforce development helps job seekers enter and advance in the workforce, and it helps employers improve their hiring, training, and advancement practices. To optimize local workforce systems, practitioners must dismantle silos and create coherent systems and services that balance the needs of both workers and businesses. Can the workforce development field itself set an example as it strives for equitable economic mobility?

In the blog post “The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes: Why Workforce Professionals Need Their Own Good Jobs Strategy,” authors Dee Wallace and Sheila Maguire — senior fellows with the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program — refer to a pre-pandemic survey revealing that half of workforce professionals in New York City earned less than the city’s median wage, and half of those surveyed considered leaving their jobs within the year. That same study found that people of color made up 80% of the city’s workforce development staff, yet higher earners and organizational leaders were disproportionately white.

Let’s explore how the workforce development field can be more reflective of the change it seeks to cultivate. Join us this fall and winter in the “Workforce Leadership Café” for a series of conversations with leaders who are contributing their talents and insights to this rich field of practice. Guests include sponsors of local Workforce Leadership Academies and others who are exploring talent development and job quality in workforce development.

Learn more at

Event information
Thu Feb 1, 2024
2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT