Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 04/04/2012

Ross P. Meyer, Class of 2005
Executive Director,
Partners for a Competitive Workforce

I was deeply honored to be a student delegate at the 2005 International Achievement Summit in New York City. Without a doubt, the Summit was one of the most inspirational experiences of my life. I was particularly stirred by the selfless work of public servants from around the world: from President Clinton’s impassioned speech on optimism and hope, to Paul Rusesabagina’s heroic story of struggle and courage. I was especially moved by the performance of Wynton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center and was awed to find myself dancing next to Colin Powell while listening to BB King, Wynonna Judd, and John Fogerty at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Most memorable, however, were the unscheduled, informal experiences interacting with accomplished people from around the world: from discussing the art of Van Gogh with George Lucas, or exploring current politics until one o’clock in the morning with Ralph Nader and Sam Donaldson, to hearing the childhood stories of Tim Russert and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. These personal interactions were both inspiring and empowering — they allowed me to see the human side of these extraordinary individuals.

Ross Meyer is now serving as the first Executive Director of Partners for a Competitive Workforce (PCW). A regional partnership managed by United Way of Greater Cincinnati, PCW mobilizes the forces of philanthropy, government, business, education, and local community organizations, developing the skills of the workforce to match the needs of employers in the tri-state region spanning Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Since 2008, PCW has leveraged over $25 million in public and private funds to help more than 4,800 individuals acquire the skills most in demand in today’s economy. A native of Cincinnati, Mr. Meyer spent two years in New York City where he worked in the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, conducting policy analysis and research for the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding. While in New York, he helped develop the city’s Office of Financial Empowerment, and worked for Enterprise Community Partners, assisting the finance of “green building” initiatives. He also advised the City of Miami’s Department of Economic Development on the creation of a Workforce Housing Fund. Before moving to New York, Meyer spent eight years working with human service and community development organizations in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine community. A Harry S. Truman Scholar, Ross Meyer earned his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Miami University of Ohio, and his Master of Public Administration degree from New York University, where he was a Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.

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