President’s Welcome

Welcome to Commonwealth Corporation! I hope this website will be a resource to you.

Our mission is to strengthen the skills of Massachusetts youth and adults by investing in innovative partnerships with industry, education and workforce organizations. We seek to meet the immediate and emerging needs of businesses and workers so they can thrive in our dynamic economy.

Across the state, we design and execute workforce programs in partnership with businesses, educators, and providers. We support the development of education and skills training that connect to real job opportunities, with sensitivity to regional economic differences.

Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1997, we are committed to ensuring that businesses have access to a pipeline of highly skilled workers and that youth and adults in Massachusetts have pathways to good jobs.


At CommCorp we come prepared every day to support workers and businesses across the Commonwealth. We value accountability, impact, learning & personal growth, partnership, respect, social justice & equity, teamwork, and work-life balance. Are these values important to you? You might be the right fit for our team.

We do not have any jobs open at this time, but check back soon!

Financial Statements

The audited financial statements include an unmodified opinion and represent accurately the fiscal year activity of Commonwealth Corporation.

Financial Statements June 30, 2017 and 2016

Executive Team

Dr. J.D. LaRock is President and CEO of Commonwealth Corporation.  Previously, he was a member of Northeastern University’s senior leadership team, where he served as chief of staff to the university’s president, among other executive roles.  A scholar of education policy, higher education, and the future of work, J.D. has also served on the faculty of Northeastern’s Doctor of Law and Policy program.

Prior to his academic and university management career, J.D. was an education policymaker at the federal, state, and international levels.  As senior education advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, he helped lead the 2008 reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act and the 2007 passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which provided $20 billion in financial aid to U.S. college students.

As education policy director for the Governor of Massachusetts, J.D. helped author the Achievement Gap Act of 2010, a landmark K-12 education reform law, as well as Massachusetts’ successful application to President Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition, which secured $250 million for the state.  He is the co-editor of Special Education for a New Century (Harvard Education Press, 2005) and editor of the OECD publication Education at a Glance (2012).

J.D. is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and Chair of the Board of Trustees at North Shore Community College.  He holds three degrees from Harvard, including a doctorate in education administration, policy, and social planning, and a law degree from Georgetown.

Rebekah is Senior Vice President of the Commonwealth Corporation. She leads the Corporation’s applied research, evaluation and regional and sector strategies teams, building upward mobility pathways in partnership with regional and state partners to prepare Massachusetts residents for the Commonwealth’s critical vacancies. Previously, Rebekah served as Manager of Workforce Partnerships for the Boston Private Industry Council, as a national workforce development consultant at Jobs for the Future and as a program development specialist for Massachusetts’ Department of Employment and Training. Rebekah received her MBA from Simmons College Graduate School of Management.

Susan serves as the Vice President of the Youth Pathways division at Commonwealth Corporation. Susan has spent the last eight years advancing the state’s youth employment and career pathways programs, which provide thousands of young people with academic, life, and career skills that expand and enhance their educational and career options.

Prior to her work at CommCorp, Susan led Youth Opportunity (YO) Boston (now Youth Options Unlimited) for more than 10 years, a national demonstration project and workforce development program for adjudicated youth. While there, she developed YO’s Transitional Employment Program which was recognized as a Best Practices model by the US Department of Labor.

She holds a Master’s degree in Education from UMass Boston and a Bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College.

Hans joined Commonwealth Corporation in 1995 as a financial analyst and was promoted to Vice President for Finance and Administration in 2003. He is responsible for all aspects of the financial and information technology infrastructure at Commonwealth Corporation; critical functions include maintaining the financial integrity of the corporation, the financial support of all programs through fund accounting and ensuring the effectiveness and integrity of the local area IT network.

Originally a native of the Netherlands but residing in the United States since 1971, Hans developed extensive experience as a cost accountant in manufacturing and in financial and logistical manufacturing management.  Some of the basic principles utilized in this process, such as budgeting, cost management, and variance accounting, have been successfully applied to Commonwealth Corporation to facilitate fiscal management and reporting. Hans has lived and worked in several European countries; he was educated in the arts and business and as such brings a diverse cultural background, which helps to address corporate challenges.

Chris is the Director of Human Resources at Commonwealth Corporation. Chris began his human resources career in 2001 at the MA Department of Mental Health with the Workers’ Compensation Litigation Unit. Since 2003, Chris held increasingly responsible managerial positions within the MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EHS) including: Workers’ Compensation Manager with oversight responsibility for three EHS agencies; Diversity Officer for the Department of Veterans’ Services, the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home and the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home; and served as Human Resources Manager at the Massachusetts Hospital School. Chris received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Suffolk University.


Click the orange circle to reveal a full list of our staff.

Employee Name Title Program Department Email
Charline Alexandre-Joseph Sr. Program Manager - Training, Technical Assistance and Capacity Building DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Jennifer Applebaum Associate Director Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Anne Berrigan Director, Youth Initiatives YouthWorks
Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Shazia Bhura Program Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Anthony Britt Program Manager Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Sector Strategies
Kimberly Bryson Accountant Finance
Patricia A. Caron Program Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Andre Channer IT Specialist Information Tech
Erin Clark Sr. Manager, Communications Communications
Cheryl Coss Program Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Zena DeBarros Program Coordinator Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Diana DePaolis Program Manager DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Robert Duncan Director, WTFP Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Allen Fowler Instructional Coach Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Davina Frye-Winstone DYS Program Coordinator DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Sanson Fung Operations Specialist Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Janel Granum Instructional Coach Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Angela Holley Administrative Assistant Sector Strategies
Naome Jeanty Research & Evaluation Analyst DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Karon L. Johnson Contract / Payroll Specialist Finance
Megan Kelly Program Coordinator Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Susan Lange VP Youth Pathways Youth Pathways
J.D. LaRock President and CEO Executive
Rebekah Lashman Senior Vice President Sector Strategies
Stephen Lavery Business Process Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Zhenchao Liu Financial Data Specialist Finance
Andrew McDowell Program Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Meg Mullen Program Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Andrea Naumann Executive Admin. Assistant Executive
Danielle Niedzwiecki Program Manager DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
John Niles Dir. Of Policy & Strategic Dev. Youth Pathways
Eilish M. O’Brien Grants Specialist Finance
Ariana O’Rourke Communications Fellow Communications
Kristen ONeil Rayne Outreach Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Celia Overby Program Manager (Enterprise) Exclusive Tees Youth Pathways
Kara Peterson Sr. Program Manager DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Zachary Rich Sr. Program Manager Safe & Successful Youth Initiative Youth Pathways
Theresa Rowland Director of Sector Strategies Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund
Workforce Training Fund
Sector Strategies
Karen J. Shack Sr. Program Manager Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund Sector Strategies
Chris Shipps Director of Human Resources HR
Magda Spasiano Program Manager, Arts Initiative DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Raija Vaisanen Research Director Research & Eval
Hans Van Der Lee Vice President of Finance and CFO Finance
David Veling Instructional Coach Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Dawn M. Wakelin Budget Analyst Youth Pathways
Briana Wales Director-DYS Partnership DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Gene White Evaluation Director Sector Strategies
Helen Witherspoon Sr. Program Manager Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies