Memphis, Tennessee (Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023) — The Greater Memphis Workforce Development Board, which oversees workforce development for its region, announced new leadership changes Tuesday, including a new interim chairman, a new interim executive director, and 10 new board members.
The Board voted unanimously to accept CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe as its interim chairman. He succeeds James “Jay” Robinson. The Board also unanimously approved Greater Memphis Chamber Director of Workforce Development Amber Covington as interim executive director.
Egwuekwe, who will serve as interim until the new executive committee is seated in January, had more than 20 years of experience in the software development industry before co-founding CodeCrew, a nonprofit that empowers youth and adults from underrepresented communities in Memphis to be tech innovators. Covington, who will also maintain her position at the Chamber, has more than 16 years of experience in workforce and economic development. She previously served as Project Director for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs at the American Job Centers in Memphis.
“With our leadership team in place and the support of the Greater Memphis Chamber, the Greater Memphis Workforce Development Board is poised to have an even greater impact,” Egwuekwe said. “This region is already home to one of the most diverse and fastest-growing job markets in the nation, and our Board is committed to making sure every single person can participate in our growing economy. I’m grateful to the Board for this opportunity and to former chairman Robinson for his ongoing support.”
The following directors joined the board on Tuesday:
- Latasha Harris, Memphis Medical District Collaborative
- Larry Robinson, Kudzukian
- Jozelle Booker, Mid-South Minority Business Continuum
- Gwendolyn Sutton, Tennessee College of Applied Technology- Memphis
- Briggette Green, Topcat Masonry Contractors, LLC
- Ben C. Adams, Baker Donelson
- Tracy Robinson, University of Memphis
- David Dufour, Bank of Fayette County
- Angela Massey, Atlantic Track
- Heather Sacks, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The Workforce Development Board – which oversees federal and state workforce development funding for Shelby, Fayette, Lauderdale, and Tipton counties in West Tennessee – is making the leadership changes at a time of workforce momentum across the region. With 663,300 jobs in the market as of October, Greater Memphis currently has more jobs than at any time before the Covid-19 pandemic and was ranked the fastest-growing job market in the nation by Gusto in August.
Significantly, the Board also has the backing of the Greater Memphis Chamber, which became the interim fiscal agent and administrator of the Board in November as part of a partnership with the Office of Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. The Chamber — which just announced plans to build a $15 million accelerated skills training center in North Memphis —now serves as the region’s lead workforce development organization, in addition to leading economic development for the region.
“This is a historic opportunity for the people in our region,” Covington said. “West Tennessee has become a top destination for high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing thanks to our rich human capital, diversity, and skilled workforce. This is the perfect time for Greater Memphis to scale workforce development to bring more high-paying careers and economic mobility to our region.”
To strengthen the connections between people and career pathways and fuel the rapidly growing regional economy, the Chamber will work with the Board this spring to draft a regional strategic plan to align local and state workforce strategies.
About the Greater Memphis Chamber: One of Memphis’ oldest institutions, the Greater Memphis Chamber is a privately funded nonprofit that serves as the region’s lead economic development organization and the “Voice of Memphis Business” on local, state, and national issues. The Chamber relentlessly pursues prosperity for all — through economic and workforce development, pro-growth advocacy, and by providing support and resources to its investors, which include many of the region’s largest employers. For more information about the Chamber, visit memphischamber.com and memphismoves.com. Also, follow the Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and sign up for its weekly newsletter, the Memphis Fourword.