Area resident named to Mass. Workforce Investment Board
Southborough - The common thread that has run through Elizabeth Thornton's professional life recently became an important stitch in the fabric of the state government that is helping to shape the work force as it moves forward in an uncertain economic time.
Last month Gov. Deval Patrick named Thornton, a Southborough resident, to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (MWIB). She will serve on the Links to Education/Sector Initiatives subcommittee.
Thornton's appointment to MWIB is the culmination of years of work advising small businesses and entrepreneurs attempting to succeed in a world that was at one time dominated by big business.
"The workforce landscape has changed over the years," Thornton said. "A number of jobs in the economy are coming out of small businesses and entrepreneurships. It's become a key component of the overall workforce strategy."
As the founder and chief executive officer of a training and consulting firm, Entrepreneurship Advantage Inc., Thornton knows first-hand the importance of small business and entrepreneurship in today's world. Her company assists dislocated and downsized workers create small businesses.
In addition, Thornton has served as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College for the last two years.
Her business background is vast and includes small business consulting work with the Small Business Administration, American Express and Bank One. In addition, Thornton has helped more than 100 entrepreneurships and small businesses get off the ground in Massachusetts in the last four years.
Thornton has also been called on to consult on a number of diverse small business initiatives, including the Urban League, the Pioneer Institute, Inner City Entrepreneurs, and the Center for Women and Enterprise, as well as to help out locally on the state level and in the city of Boston.
A graduate of Georgetown University, Thornton earned a master's degree in business administration at New York University's Stern School of Business and studied in Oxford, England, at the Oxford Center for Management Studies. She moved to Southborough from Delaware four years ago.
Thornton said she believes she was appointed to the 65-person board because she has been a voice for so long for small business.
"I was appointed, I believe, to not only provide input on what it takes to launch small businesses, but how to tie that development in to creating and developing jobs that can help fuel the economy," Thornton said. "There has been an undeniable steady rise in small business and entrepreneurship in the state.
"About half the job growth in this day an age is a result of small business," Thornton said. "I think Governor Patrick realizes it's important that we focus on that high potential of growth, support it and find out what's necessary to create more job opportunities."
Thornton said she feels one of her roles on the MWIB's Links to Education/Sector Initiatives subcommittee is to help identify viable programs where there is an increase in the workforce and make recommendations to Patrick about those programs so an education and workforce partnership can be formed with community colleges in the state.
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