As a workforce shortage looms large over Minnesota, one state agency has just welcomed a new leader to address the problem. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Tuesday that Lorrie Janatopoulos has been named director of CareerForce, the new name for Minnesota’s WorkForce system. CareerForce manages and executes the direct services aspects of DEEDS’s workforce development efforts.
Janatopoulos will take the reins in mid-June.
Composed of a network of private, public, and nonprofit partners throughout Minnesota, CareerForce operates more than 50 physical locations and maintains a digital presence. It works alongside DEED’s grant-making team.
As CareerForce’s new director, Janatopoulos will control the physical and digital CareerForce resources used to provide guidance to job seekers in Minnesota, according to a DEED news release. She also has been tasked with modernizing the state’s workforce system.
Additionally she’ll look to unify DEED workforce partners to help connect people with employment opportunities—arguably a crucial role as various industries, including information technology and manufacturing, are currently feeling the pressure of a thin labor market.
Janatopoulos brings more than two decades of nonprofit experience to her new role.
A Greater Minnesota native, she served for 16 years as planning director of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency in Virginia.
Most recently, Janatopoulos assisted in strategic planning for the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation. She also worked at Hibbing Community College on initiatives to help women achieve education and career goals.
She holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and in 2018 was named a Bush Foundation Fellow, which enabled her to complete leadership training courses at Harvard.