President’s Welcome

Welcome to Commonwealth Corporation!  Commonwealth Corporation is a quasi-public workforce development agency that strengthens the skills of Massachusetts youth and adults by investing in innovative partnerships with industry, education and workforce organizations.

Our primary goals are:

  • to build regional industry training partnerships that prepare youth and unemployed workers for jobs in demand that lead to higher rates of employment;
  • to upgrade the skills of underemployed workers to meet specific employer skill demands leading to job retention, upgrades and wage gains, and;
  • to increase the share of youth engaged in education and employment pathways preparing them for post-secondary education and careers.

Commonwealth Corporation’s goal is to extend Massachusetts’ leadership in education and training, and its overall prosperity, by ensuring that all people benefit from our economy.  I invite you to peruse our website to learn more.

Dr. J.D. LaRock
President and CEO

Governor’s Commission on Digital Innovation and LifeLong Learning

Governor Charlie Baker has designated Commonwealth Corporation to organize and lead his new Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning.  Launching in April 2018 and working through the fall, the Commission will examine the implications of accelerating technology on the nature of work, the future of jobs in Massachusetts, and what effective postsecondary education and training looks like in the 21st century.  The Commission will recommend new, digitally-enabled steps to dramatically increase the availability of affordable, flexible, employer-relevant learning for Massachusetts residents throughout their lives.

The Commission is comprised of executives from some of Massachusetts’ largest companies, college and university presidents, community and workforce system leaders, innovators in digital learning, and leading scholars of learning science, organizations, and the future of education and work.  It is supported by a project team at Commonwealth Corporation and a team affiliated with Harvard Business School and its Forum for Growth and Innovation.

Click here for more on the Commission’s work and a list of members.


At Commonwealth Corporation 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.

At this time we have no open positions.

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

Senior Leadership Team

Click the orange circle for biographies.

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. is Professor of the Practice of Law and Policy at Northeastern and a Fellow with the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities 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), editor of the OECD publication Education at a Glance (2012), and contributed to the book Robot Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, 2017).

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.

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 Program Department Email
Charline Alexandre-Joseph DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Jennifer Applebaum Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Shazia Bhura Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Anthony Britt Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Sector Strategies
Kimberly Bryson Finance
Patricia A. Caron Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Andre Channer Information Tech
Cheryl Coss Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Diana DePaolis DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Robert Duncan Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Allen Fowler Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Davina Frye-Winstone DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Sanson Fung Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Janel Granum Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Angela Holley Sector Strategies
Karla Jaramillo Finance
Naome Jeanty DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Karon L. Johnson Finance
Megan Kelly Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Zena Kelly Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Susan Lange Youth Pathways
J.D. LaRock Executive
Rebekah Lashman Sector Strategies
Stephen Lavery Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Zhenchao Liu Finance
Meg Mullen Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Andrea Naumann Executive
Danielle Niedzwiecki DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
John Niles Youth Pathways
Eilish M. O’Brien Finance
Kristen ONeil Rayne Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies
Celia Overby Exclusive Tees Youth Pathways
Nate Pally Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Kara Peterson DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Zachary Rich Safe & Successful Youth Initiative Youth Pathways
Theresa Rowland Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund
Workforce Training Fund
Sector Strategies
Karen J. Shack Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund Sector Strategies
Chris Shipps HR
Magda Spasiano DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Kareem Talhouni Signal Success
Youth Pathways
Raija Vaisanen Research & Eval
Dawn M. Wakelin Youth Pathways
Briana Wales DYS Initiative Youth Pathways
Gene White Sector Strategies
Helen Witherspoon Workforce Training Fund Sector Strategies