Executive Committee Member, WorkingNation
Jane Oates is on the Executive Committee of Working Nation, a non profit that works through
film and live events to tell the stories of successful training programs. Before joining Working
Nation, Oates worked at the Apollo Education Group, managing Corporate Social Responsibility
and working on linking the universities with employers through thought leadership events.
Oates served as the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training at the US Department of
Labor (DOL) under Secretary Hilda Solis. Managing a $14 billion budget, and a talented career
staff of 1100, Oates oversaw the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs, guest worker visas,
unemployment insurance and Job Corps. She partnered with cities and states to strengthen
local economies during the worst economic recession in recent decades. She worked with industry
leaders to create policies that would give immediate assistance but also create long term
opportunities. With her colleagues at the Department of Education she created the Trade Adjustment
Assistance Community College grant program with a one-time appropriation of $2 billion.
Oates became a national leader in education and workforce programs during her ten years with
Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
(HELP). Oates served as the Commissioner of the New Jersey Council of Higher Education
under Jon Corzine. Oates began her career as a teacher in the Boston Public Schools and
later the Philadelphia Public Schools. She went on to become the Director of Field Services at
the Temple University Center for Research and Human Development, wiring with k-12 districts
Oates sits on a number of non-profit boards, including ACT NWSAB, the World Affairs Council of
DC and Home Builders Institute.