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.
Steve joined New Directions (ND) as an accounting manager in March of 1998. Steve has been minding the books as fiscal agent since then as the local workforce development system has gone through various transitions. Steve and the ND Finance Department were split off from ND as a separate entity called Department of Workforce Development Administration (DWDA) for a short period, and eventually merged into the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (WIB). As CFO of the WIB he has overseen the financial functions for both the WIB and New Directions Southcoast, Inc. (NDSI) until the fall/winter of 2010 when NDSI assumed independent financial control.
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 began her career in the Automobile Insurance Industry at the Aetna Life & Casualty Insurance Company in Fall River, MA managing the “assigned risk” portion of the business for risk drivers from New York & New Jersey. While employed with the Aetna, she attended BCC and UMASS Dartmouth earning a degree in Business Science. Donna volunteered much time to the United Way of Greater Fall River chairing the Allocations & New Vendor committees. Donna served as a “Loaned Executive” to the United Way for several years.
She was contracted with New Directions in 2002 as the English as a Second Language Education Coordinator serving over 100 participants. Before joining the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (WIB), Donna was the Quality Assurance Manager for the U.S. Census Bureau, New Bedford Division during the 2010 Decennial Census.
Donna brings many years of managerial and quality assurance expertise to her position as Coordinator of the OJT NEG Project an ARRA Initiative acting as a liaison between DCS and eight Workforce Investment Boards and Career Centers. She joined the staff at the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (WIB) in November 2010. In 2013, Donna was promoted to Project Manager. In addition to the NEG Program, Donna is managing the Advanced Manufacturing Consortia grants.
Donna resides in New Bedford with her family. She has three children, son Darreau (28) an artist and graduate of BCC, twins Patrick and Bridgette (21). Patrick is the assistant manager at Kyler’s Seafood and Bridgette is attending Bridgewater State majoring in Finance and Accounting.
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 (ND) 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. (WIB). As Program Monitor, Marc’s duties include ensuring contractual compliance between vendors and the WIB by conducting file reviews, and on-site visits.
DR. KAISA G. HOLLOWAY CRIPPS, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Telephone: 508-979-1504 (ext. 112)
Kaisa joins the WIB from academia where she held administrator and faculty positions at Brandeis University, UMass Dartmouth, Johnson & Wales, and the University of Maryland University College. 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 also a Trustee of the Millicent Library and past clerk and treasurer of the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association. She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Net Impact, and the Academy of Management. 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).
She lives in Fairhaven with her husband, Terry, and two sons, Foster and Shea.
KUMARASWAMY NIDHISIYA KOKILA, DATA ANALYST ENGINEER INTERN
Telephone: 508-979-1504 ext. 116
Kumar is pursuing her Masters in Computer Science at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.She is working as a Data Analyst Engineer(Intern) and also serves on the Business Development Committee for the Workforce Development Board.She worked for the Advancement Department and Administration and finance student committee at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.