CEO and Director Middlesex County Workforce Development Board and Office of Career Opportunity
Panelist: Driving Innovation, Opportunity & Personal Growth through the Arts
Kevin Kurdziel 30 years of experience in social services, workforce development, and prisoner reentry services in both the public and private sectors. His career began in 1990 as a Family Service Worker with the County of Essex Department of Citizen Services. In 1999 Kevin moved over to the county’s newly formed Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment as a Senior Employment Specialist. In that capacity he supervised a unit of Welfare to Work case managers. Because of Kevin’s vast knowledge of Welfare reform, and the strong performance of his unit, he was promoted in 2000 to Manager of Assessment and Referral in the Division of Training and Employment. In that capacity, Kevin was responsible for oversight of the Division’s Welfare to Work and Workforce Investment Act programs. During his tenure, the county’s Welfare to Work participation rates rose to their highest levels. In 2003 he moved over to the private sector as Director of Employment Services for the Kintock Group, a non-profit community corrections company. During that time Kevin established Corrections to Careers program, a workplace readiness program for ex-offenders transitioning into the community. The program funded by the New Jersey Department of Labor served more than 500 participants, with a job placement rate of 65%. In 2006 Kevin joined Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey to coordinate the agency’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative, through funding from the United States Department of Labor. In December 2008, Kevin joined the staff of Essex County College as Coordinator of Single Stop USA. In 2012, Kevin was assigned as Coordinator of Training Inc. at the college. Kevin was appointed assistant Director of Training Inc. in October 2013. In addition, Kevin was a key member of the college’s Next Step Program, which works exclusively with the prisoner re-entry population. In August 2014 Kevin was appointed the Director of the Middlesex County Office of Workforce Development and Workforce Development Board. Kevin is instrumental in shaping the county’s workforce policy with the transition to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which took effect July 2015. Kevin currently serves as a Trustee of the Garden State Employment and Training Association.
From 2004 to 2011 Kevin served as chairman of the Essex County Employment Network, a coalition of workforce development professionals. Kevin is also past vice chairman of the Essex County Reentry Providers Network. He has served on Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Prisoner Reentry Planning committee and on the Essex County One Stop Committee. Kevin has facilitated workshops for the International Community Corrections Association, and United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. Kevin is a member of the Middlesex County Human Services Advisory Council (vice chair) and the Council for Children’s Services. Kevin is a graduate of Medaille College, Buffalo, New York with a Bachelor of Science in Media Communications and Thomas Edison Sate College, Trenton, New Jersey with a Master’s of Science, Management.