Fund for Our Economic Future Welcomes Bishara Addison as Director of Job Preparation

by | Mar 26, 2021

The addition expands the Fund’s staff focused on talent initiatives in Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND—March 26, 2021—Bishara Addison will join the Fund for Our Economic Future as its director of job preparation on April 13, bringing a deep understanding of workforce development systems and public policy and an unwavering commitment to improving outcomes for people. For the last five years, Bishara has served as senior manager of policy and strategic initiatives at Towards Employment where she focused on reentry and workforce policy as well as building out the agency’s racial equity strategy. At the Fund, she will be responsible for advancing its talent agenda, including overseeing specific initiatives, supporting local leaders with their workforce development strategies across the region, and developing and sustaining national partnerships, including with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

“We’re thrilled to add someone of Bishara’s caliber to our team,” said Fund President Bethia Burke. “Her experience in workforce development spans across public policy, strategy development and implementation, coalition building, innovation, and system alignment—elements that are critical to advancing and strengthening our Fund’s job preparation work.”

The addition of Bishara expands the Fund’s team devoted to improving talent outcomes in Northeast Ohio. Janine Kaiser, who had been serving as the Fund’s director of job preparation since January 2019, will transition to the director of the Cleveland Innovation Project Talent Initiative, on behalf of the Fund. Janine also serves as the facilitator of the Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group, the collaborative that oversees the Workforce Connect sector partnerships.

“As Northeast Ohio emerges from 2020’s economic downturn, an equitable recovery is not guaranteed,” said Bethia Burke. “Our region’s un- and underemployed workers, particularly those who are Black and Latinx, are continually shut out of opportunities to access needed training or advance in a career. There are numerous great programs and partners working to address these challenges. The key is connecting the dots and ensuring that regionally, efforts are aligned and sufficiently resourced; that connections between workforce development providers and community-facing organizations are improved; and that strategies to connect more workers of color to high-paying jobs with career advancement potential are supported. Together, Bishara and Janine will provide significant leadership in this space.”

“What an exciting time to be an agent in the workforce system! I look forward to leveraging my experience at Towards Employment to drive alignment and push for policies and practices at the systems level that can improve how workforce actors connect workers—particularly Black and Latinx workers—to higher-paying jobs with advancement potential,” Bishara said.

Prior to Towards Employment, Bishara served as a policy fellow and later as a project manager for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and before that was engaged in a statewide advocacy effort to shape policies around collateral sanctions. Among her many community leadership positions, Bishara was recently appointed by the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships to serve on a national manufacturing panel that will advise the Biden administration on its “Made in All of America” initiative and related policies. In May of 2019, she was accepted into the National Urban Fellows program at Georgetown University designed for mid-career women and people of color to pursue leadership roles in public service. Bishara holds a Master of Policy Management and a certificate in education finance from Georgetown, and an undergraduate degree in political science from The George Washington University.

About the Fund for Our Economic Future

The Fund for Our Economic Future is an alliance of foundations, corporations, universities, business and civic associations, government entities, and individuals dedicated to advancing economic growth and increased access to opportunity for the people of Northeast Ohio through improved job creation, job preparation and job access. Learn more at

Media Contact

Sara McCarthy
Fund for Our Economic Future