Meet Vicki Leaderbrand, Rural Minnesota CEP’s New Executive Director
Monday, September 23, 2019
Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (RMCEP) welcomed Vicki Leaderbrand as its new Executive Director after Dan Wenner, who had led the organization for 14 years, retired in June of this year. And while she might be new to the role, Leaderbrand isn’t new to the organization at all.
With 28 years of experience working in the employee and training industry, she has spent the last 14 at RMCEP, first as a planning/human resources specialist and then as director of operations and human resources.
Her experience in the industry has fueled her passion for her work, and she is excited to step into this position.
“Everyone needs a purpose in life, and the power of work - whether it’s a paid position or an unpaid internship - is amazing,” says Leaderbrand. “I am honored to be part of an agency that helps people become self-sufficient, the by-product of which is not only a productive and happy citizen but also a stronger community.”
The agency operates eight career centers throughout the 19-county region it covers plus mobile services to accommodate those who cannot make it into one of their centers. Leaderbrand notes that more than 8,000 people come through the agency’s door on an annual basis and 2,000 enroll in some sort of program, whether it’s specific training or more intensive services.
As Executive Director, Leaderbrand is focused on keeping the agency a strong and relevant resource for the people who use and need it and enhancing partnerships with the business community.
She also is looking for the agency to be a broker between the needs of business and industry and what the workforce can do.
“Workforce development goes far beyond helping someone acquire the skills to do a certain job. It also involves addressing needs such as lack of housing or lack of childcare,” Leaderbrand says. As such, she is working closely with representatives from other organizations in order to bring a more holistic approach to workforce development.
When she’s not working, Leaderbrand is an avid camper and reader. She also loves anything that has to do with water, whether that’s being in, on or near it. And, although all four of her kids are grown and out of the house, she enjoys spending as much time with them as possible, especially with her grandson.
But her real passion is helping people experience the power of work.
“I’ve seen first-hand what work can do, and that’s what we’re all about. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in this industry, to lead RMCEP and to be a customer-focused resource for all of our clients, business partners and stakeholders.”