Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

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

Executive Director, Apprenticeship and Workforce Solutions, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Paul Thompson is the Executive Director of Apprenticeship and Workforce Solutions at City Colleges of Chicago, where he leads the system wide development and deployment of scalable apprenticeship and other work-based learning programs to move students into high potential careers in business, healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, transportation and hospitality. Paul previously served as the Dean of Business and Professional Services at Harold Washington College, where he led the redevelopment and oversight of Business programs for the district. He brings more than 25 years of business and management experience from a diverse set of roles and industries. Paul has served as an adjunct instructor, credentialed in Business, CIS and Interdisciplinary Studies. Paul has been appointed to the Roosevelt University, Heller College of Business Advisory Board, the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board’s Apprenticeship Committee, and also serves as the Immediate Past Commodore of the Jackson Park Yacht Club. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Quality in 1994 and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Western Michigan University in 1987. Paul is also a 2015 Fellow of the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Office of Civic Engagement.

Paul Thompson 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