Practice Area Director, Workforce Development and Youth
GETTING TO KNOW KATY
Katy Vickland leads Creative’s teams working to address the challenges of high unemployment and poverty in vulnerable groups such as at-risk youth. She specializes in workforce development, including inclusive value chains and local capacity building, and developing public-private partnerships that strengthen connections among youth, business, civil society and training institutions.
Beyond your job title, please explain your role at Creative.
What I enjoy most about my role at Creative is the opportunity to work with incredibly bright, dedicated professionals throughout Economic Growth and across all the divisions. Workforce development is very multi-disciplinary, so the workforce team and I have opportunities to work with people across Education, Communities in Transition and the Cross Functional Group.
Do you have an accomplishment or programmatic result or activity that you are particularly proud of?
I had the pleasure of leading the USAID/El Salvador’s Improving Access to Employment Program. Working through 21 partnerships with the private sector, we developed demand-driven curricula that incorporated soft skills, and placed more than 14,000 individuals in new or better jobs, including some 5,000 at-risk youth, 5,000 women and 200 individuals with disabilities.
Empowering individuals with the skills they need to get and keep a job in the formal sector is truly transformational—for the individuals, for their families, for their employers and for their communities. It was such a joy to attend the first day of class, and explain to the youth the industry in which they were entering and the opportunities they would have, and then to attend the graduation and learn about their job plans. The youth enthusiasm for the program was so high that the program’s Facebook page was named the #1 Facebook page among all Salvadoran non-profits, with more than 60,000 fans. It is so rewarding to see the smiles on the faces in the pictures the youth posted, on their first job and wearing their new uniforms.
Workforce Development and Youth Employment including vocational and soft skill development for at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations; inclusive value chain development across agriculture, manufacturing and services; public/private partnership development; local capacity building, including human and institutional capacity building; systemic, sustainable development solutions; supporting business-enabling environments, and small and medium enterprise development
Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University | B.A. in Economics, Carleton College
CARANA Corporation, 2010-2015 | SRI International, 1987-2010
Fluent in Spanish and English. Enjoyed studying Czech and Bosnian when I lived in Prague and Sarajevo. Currently trying my hand at Arabic.
I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. My dad was a Professor of Social Work at the Institute for Research on Poverty, and my mother taught health sciences professionals at the Madison Area Technical College. How could I not end up in workforce development?
“What I enjoy most about my role at Creative is the opportunity to work with incredibly bright, dedicated professionals throughout Economic Growth and across all the divisions.”