MEET THE STAFF
JAMES D. OLIVEIRA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CEO
Telephone: 508-979-1504 (ext. 114)
Jim Oliveira is a graduate of Southeastern Massachusetts University who attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Science upon his return to New Bedford after military service. Prior to that he served in the United States Navy performing active duty during Vietnam in a P-3 Orion Sub Hunter Squadron (VP-8). It was there that he first became engaged in workforce development as an education petty officer helping his shipmates complete training requirements for advancement.
Upon graduation from college, Jim was Executive Director for the North End Business Association in New Bedford , Branch Officer for Shawmut Bank, Community Relation Advisor to Mayor John Bullard in New Bedford and subsequently served as the City’s Economic Development Director. During this period, he gained valuable experience and knowledge of how the workforce development system worked by participating as an associate of the Private Industry Council, and serving as the Mayor’s liaison to the Office for Job Partnerships/JTEC.
For the past 20 years Mr. Oliveira was engaged in the development of creating workforce development systems to assist Department of Transitional Assistance clients find meaningful employment. He has worked in several cities from Boston to Cape Cod guiding a team of employment counselors to coordinate job placements on behalf of Cognosco and LifeStream, Inc. He has visited over 150 Long Term Care Facilities and Health Care Agencies throughout his career. He also developed many great relationships in manufacturing, distribution and retail.
Jim is an avid camper, gardener, Boston Sports Fan and devoted family man. He resides in New Bedford with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lilly.
STEVE GRANT, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Telephone: 508-979-1504 (ext. 119)
Upon graduation from Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth) in 1974, Steve began working for Ray Eisenberg, a small local accounting firm. He worked there for about 5 years and then joined US Ringbinder Corporation, a subsidiary of General Binding Corporation, starting out as credit Manager and Staff Accountant. He remained with US Ringbinder for 18 years through expansion, downsizing, and eventual shut down of the operation in New Bedford due to foreign competition. As Assistant Controller he helped with the transition of the business to a St. Louis subsidiary. He worked for the company as a consultant for a short time but decided not to make the move to St. Louis.
As CFO he has overseen the financial functions. Steve lives in Dartmouth with Donna, his wonderful wife of twenty years. They have a son attending UMass Lowell in the Physical Therapy program. Favorite pastimes include golf, following the Red Sox, and enjoying quiet evenings with the family and their three dogs.
DONNA RAMOS, PROGRAM MANAGER
Telephone: 508-979-1504 (ext. 113)
Donna worked in the Automobile Insurance Industry for Aetna Insurance Company in Fall River, MA for decades managing the “assigned risk” portion of the business for New York & New Jersey drivers. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a BS degree. Donna volunteered much time to the United Way of Greater Fall River chairing the Allocations & New Vendor committees and as a Loaned Executive for several years. Donna takes great pride in actively pursuing her civic duty by working the Decennial Census having done so for the past two decades.
In 2002 she shifted industries and became the ESL Education Coordinator at New Directions. In 2010 she was hired as Coordinator of the OJT NEG Project, an ARRA Initiative acting as a liaison between Department of Career Services and eight MA Workforce Investment Boards.
MARC TARPEY, YOUTH AND MONITORING MANAGER
Telephone: 508-979-1504 (ext. 122)
Marc is a New Bedford native who graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with an English Degree in 1992. He began working for New Directions in 1993 as a part time Counselor for the summer jobs program, before becoming a full-time employee as a Service Strategy Associate. In 1999 he became the Program Monitor until his departure in 2008, when the ND Finance Department merged with the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Inc. As Program Monitor, Marc’s duties include ensuring contractual compliance by conducting file reviews, and on-site visits and oversees all youth programming for the workforce board.
DR. KAISA G. HOLLOWAY CRIPPS, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Telephone: 508-979-1504 (ext. 111)
Kaisa serves the workforce board as the chief operating officer leading overall strategic and operational responsibility for activities and programs.
Kaisa joined the workforce board in 2017 from academia where she held administrator and faculty positions at various universities and colleges. She has also worked for a Fortune 500 technology firm, nonprofits, and newspaper publishing on the South Coast. Kaisa has held elected and appointed positions as Commissioner on the Planning Board and Agricultural Commission in Fairhaven. She is a past Trustee of the Millicent Library and past clerk and treasurer of the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association. Kaisa is a member of the Bristol Community College Academic Center for Entrepreneurship (BCC ACE) Advisory Council and is a Community Representative on the Northeast Maritime Institute (NMI) Institute Alliance. She is also a lifetime member of Phi Kappa Phi and Net Impact.
Kaisa holds a Doctor of Management from the University of Maryland University College and an MBA from the Charlton College of Business and BA from UMass Dartmouth. She also maintains professional certifications in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP) and Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRCP). When not at work, you can find Kaisa and her family on the beach and in the ocean as much as possible year round.