Northeastern University College of Professional Studies Emphasizes Workforce Development in Higher Education 


Strategist and Policy Maker will Strengthen Links between Education and Employability


Media Contact:
Emily Linendoll
Assistant Director of Communications


Boston, MA, January 31, 2014 – Outgoing Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Joanne F. Goldstein, will join Northeastern University in a new position, as Associate Vice President of Workforce Development and Employer Engagement in the College of Professional Studies.  She will lead workforce development, with a specific focus on integrating workforce needs into academic programs at the College.

Joanne Goldstein

“As employers identify skills gaps in the present workforce and students are keenly focused on employability when they complete their studies, this integration responds to one of the critical issues in our economy today,” said John G. LaBrie, dean, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies and vice president, Professional Education. “Secretary Goldstein’s insight from her statewide position will be invaluable as the College finds new ways to work with employers to mutual benefit, develops new degrees related to the dynamic landscape of employment needs and revises the curriculum with employer input into academic planning for professional credentials.”

Goldstein will engage with small and large businesses, employer groups and associations, labor organizations, workforce development agencies and non-profits to develop collaborative strategies to sustain a healthy workforce nationwide.

“There is enormous untapped potential to benefit individuals and society which brings the academic community, particularly in the field of professional studies, and employers closer together,” commented Goldstein. “The complexity of the recession and recovery has shown that our economy has changed dramatically, and our best solutions will be developed in partnership.”

Goldstein served as Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2010 to 2014. She was responsible for a budget of $3.5 billion for five agencies including the Departments of Unemployment Assistance; Career Services; Industrial Accidents; Labor Standards and Labor Relations. Serving on Governor Deval Patrick’s Cabinet, his economic development cabinet and Council of Economic Advisors, Secretary Goldstein led the development and implementation of a plan to create and maintain living wage jobs and drive down unemployment numbers. Through this effort and partnerships with industry, education, career centers and training providers, jobs grew to higher levels than before the recession began and unemployment fell to pre-recession levels in February 2013.

Previously, Goldstein was Chief of the Fair Labor Division of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and her experience includes serving as General Counsel to the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO. Goldstein graduated from Hofstra University Law School, and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Cushing Gavin Award for Labor Management Relations and the Hofstra University School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award. Goldstein will join the College of Professional Studies on May 1, 2014.

Northeastern University, long known for its innovative co-op program integrating learning and work, and the College of Professional Studies are continually seeking and testing new forms of experiential learning designed to equip students with knowledge and skills to advance in the global economy. The College of Professional Studies offers more than 60 degrees at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, most of which can be pursued online and part-time. Many students continue working while studying for a degree.

Last year, the College of Professional Studies initiated a pilot:  Online Experiential Learning for Working Professionals   , a new opportunity for working graduate students who are pursuing their degrees online to learn simultaneously in class and on the job by crafting, securing and completing a relevant project that addresses an identified business need for their current employer. The program is being expanded in 2014.

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies is one of 9 colleges of Northeastern University, a nationally-ranked, regionally-accredited private research university. The College of Professional Studies is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence. The College of Professional Studies offers in-demand degrees, from regulatory affairs to project management, education, biotechnology, global studies and international affairs, homeland security and geographic information technology.

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a comprehensive, global research university. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 165 graduate programs, ranging from professional master's degrees to interdisciplinary PhD programs. Northeastern's research enterprise is aligned with three national imperatives: health, security and sustainability. Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 90 countries on all seven continents.