Karyn Goven is the new Director of Workforce Development at Southwest Solutions.
Karyn takes over the position previously held by Mary Freeman, who is now Senior Policy Associate at Corporation for a Skilled Workforce.
“It’s daunting to assume Mary’s role because she did so much to build and expand the job training and adult literacy programs at Southwest Solutions,” Karyn said. “She also built an excellent team here. With their great expertise and energy, I believe we can take our programs to the next level.”
Karyn has an extensive background in education, with more than 20 years of experience in the field, including adult education, early childhood, K-12, and alternative education. She has been involved in training for autoworkers at GM and Ford. Karyn is an authority on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which became law in 2014 and is designed to comprehensively assist both job seekers and employers seeking skilled workers.
For the past four years, Karyn was the Adult Education Director of Okemos Public Schools. Before then, she was with the Michigan Workforce Development Agency and established the nine learning labs that started in Detroit in 2011 through State funding, including our own Adult Learning Lab.
“The goal of adult education is always to build adults’ basic skills so they can transition to job training and then gain employment and a family-sustaining wage,” Karyn said. “Our job is to provide opportunities so that students can make that transition and be successful. The ambitious goal makes our jobs challenging but also rewarding.”
Karyn’s work is grounded in partnership and teamwork. She strongly believes that a holistic approach in providing resources and support services is the best way to help program participants achieve their aims, and this belief is a major reason she was drawn to the mission and philosophy of Southwest Solutions. Karyn emphasizes data collection and evaluation to measure the effectiveness of programs and continually refine them. She has a proven record of writing grants to secure federal and state funds to support training and education.
Karyn has served on many boards and has been very active in the Girl Scouts. She is married and she and her husband, who is also an educator, have three daughters and a son. One daughter is a teacher, another works in the legal field, and the third just graduated from Michigan State, where Karyn herself got her Bachelor’s. (She has an education-related Master’s from Eastern Michigan University.) Karyn’s son is in college studying international relations with a focus on Japan, where Karyn’s mother was born.
We welcome Karyn to the Southwest Solutions’ family!