John Barr

John Barr

Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, Economic Opportunities Program

Budget and Planning Manager, Office of Employment and Training, Illinois Department of Commerce, Chicago, Illinois

John Barr is the Budget and Planning Manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Employment and Training (OET) responsible for the planning, administration and monitoring of a portfolio of more than $175 million in federal workforce grants. The OET supports Illinois’ workforce system in developing qualified workers that fulfill the needs of businesses.

Mr. Barr earned his Master of Public Administration from Northern Illinois University and has more than 20 years of experience in developing, supporting and administering workforce initiatives in Illinois.

John Barr is a member of the Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at