Barbara Bolin is a nationally recognized expert consultant on the development of innovative programs and policies to improve education, skills development, and workforce development. She is a creative problem solver who favors a systems approach to meeting the needs of both employers and career seekers.
She is using her career development expertise, her public sector experience, and her academic training in mathematics and the sciences to support STEM education and she is consulting with organizations and companies to address their employment needs. Most recently Barbara served as the Executive Director of the Michigan STEM Partnership and was the force behind the proclamation of October 2014 as STEM Careers Month in MI.
With Gov. Rick Snyder and Joe Asiala, CEO of MITech+Proclaiming October as STEM Awareness Month CEO, MITech+ at the Igniting STEM Excellence summit, October 4, 2013
Guest speaker during the 2013 annual observance of Women's History Month at the Detroit Arsenal.
Barbara gets results because of her extraordinary ability to connect with people and to communicate ideas based on her knowledge and firsthand experiences that include being a member of two state Cabinets, extensive education and teaching , and valuable private sector experiences.
Speaking at the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference, New York, March 19, 2011
(L to R) Jeff Livingston, McGraw-Hill; Jordan Goldman, UNIGO; Barbara Bolin; Steven Paine, McGraw-Hill
Born and raised in England, Barbara has a direct delivery style and a great sense of humor. Because she spent 22 years in Australia, Barbara’s accent is intriguing yet still essentially British.
From 2003-2005, Barbara was the Special Advisor for Workforce Development to Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA). When Gov. Warner was looking for projects to promote workforce and economic development as part of his "Education For A Lifetime" initiative, Barbara suggested state implementation of a portable skills credential. Gov. Warner liked the idea and he charged Barbara with developing the credential, the Career Readiness Certificate, not only in Virginia, but also across the economic region defined by seven contiguous states.
Gov. Warner and his Workforce Development team, 2005
Barbara became the dynamic leader of a consortium of those states and, today she has led the group to an amazing 50 states and territories. Barbara has spent many hours speaking to government, education, workforce, and economic development professionals, and her total commitment to the project, coupled with her extraordinary energy and presentation skills, have resulted in this tremendous acceptance and implementation of the Career Readiness Certificate across so many states.
Barbara Bolin was formerly the Director of the Michigan Department of Career Development for Gov. John Engler (R-MI). As the leader of this nationally unique department, from 1999-2002, Barbara led Michigan to national prominence. Her model for a systematic approach to career development across agencies and funding streams is now accepted as the national norm! Barbara was one of the first experts in the nation to fight for a partnership between economic development, education and workforce development initiatives.
With Gov. Engler and Ms. Juanita Perryman, Chair of the Governor's Workforce Commission
With former US Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao
In 2007, Barbara founded the National Organization for Career Credentialing, a non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about the latest developments and issues in economic development and skills credentialing, including the Career Readiness Certificate. Barbara acts as the President of the NOCC (www.nationalOCC.org).
(L to R) With David Fankhauser (WIN, Inc), Teresa Chasteen (WIN,Inc) and David Sweaney (ACT)
Barbara is the author of The Career Readiness Certificate: An Implementation Handbook. The second edition of the book is available FREE through the NOCC web site (www.nationalOCC.org).
Before accepting Gov. Engler’s invitation, Barbara Bolin was the first Associate Vice-President for Workforce Education at Austin Community College. In 1996, Barbara was appointed by Gov. George W. Bush to the Texas Science and Technology Council, representing Texas Community Colleges.
From 1997-1999, Austin Community College and Barbara were recognized as leaders in workforce development. Dr. Bolin was the first administrator at ACC to bring a private sector approach to workforce education.
From 1993-1997, Barbara was a member of Dell University at Dell Computer Corporation in Texas. She initiated and implemented the Kirkpatrick 4-Level Training Evaluation model across Dell, and she represented the corporation in all aspects of industry/education collaboration and workforce preparation.
Barbara has an undisputed reputation as one of the most dynamic, informative, and entertaining speakers in the country, and she is a very successful trainer on a variety of topics.
Barbara holds a BS in Mathematics and Science and a teaching degree from South Australia, a Masters Degree from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Education from Texas A&M University. She began her professional career as a mathematics and science teacher in high schools in Australia, and after moving to the United States in 1983, she taught mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics at Tyler Junior College, the University of Texas at Tyler, and Texas A&M. Since that time, Barbara has been an adjunct professor at a number of colleges and universities including Austin Community College, St. Edward's University, Davenport University, and Baker College.
Barbara taught mathematics and statistics at Lansing Community College from 2008-2012, and she also joined the adjunct faculty at Northwood University in 2012.
Barbara Bolin has been a supporter of STEM initiatives for many years and she was a mentor (2012-13) for STAR-Trec, the FIRST robotics team at The Early College, a program for high school students at Lansing Community College. 2013, she became the first Executive Director of the Michigan STEM Partnership.