"My first job was babysitting for a buck an hour where I learned customer service, business development, and how to manage up. The first job where I got a check and a W-2 was working at a greasy fast food stand serving french fries, scooping ice cream and mopping floors. I quickly realized the importance of predictable hours, knowing where to cash a check, and how tiring standing on your feet all day can be."
Working in various roles and types of organizations, Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal has been committed to revitalizing New York City neighborhoods for over 25 years to better serve local residents. As the Founding CEO of HERE to HERE, Abby led a diverse team committed to aligning with key stakeholders around the goal of career success for NYC students, demonstrating best practice, and translating that best practice into systems change. She was also the Executive Director of The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation, one of the founding organizations of HERE to HERE along with Dreamyard and Big Picture Learning. Abby has extensive experience in community development, public/private partnerships, impact investing and working with community-based organizations.
Prior to the Mayor’s Office, HERE to HERE and the Dimon Foundation, Abby was the Senior Vice President of Innovation at Enterprise Community Partners, a national housing organization, and provided leadership across the organization for strategy, new product development, knowledge management, and impact investing.
Prior to that role, she ran the Enterprise NY market, deploying $200 million annually in equity, debt, and grants; developing and implementing programs; and policy. Early in her career, she oversaw the design and development of the New York City’s Hudson River Park along the West Side and launched its first Summer Youth Program. Abby holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale in Philosophy and master’s degrees from UC-Berkeley in Business Administration and City & Regional Planning.
Chris Neale is the Deputy Director of Strategy and Operations here at the Office of Talent and Workforce Development. In addition, he’s served as the Director of the Workforce Development Board since 2015.
Previously, Chris worked at SBS as Assistant Commissioner of External Relations and Special Programs in the Workforce Development Division of the Department of Small Business Services. In that role, he managed key relationships with oversight and funding entities, including the New York State Department of Labor, and oversaw the design and launch of a technology internship program for CUNY students.
Prior to this role, Chris served as the Assistant Commissioner for Workforce1 Recruitment, responsible for overseeing the strategy and performance of the Workforce1 Career Centers with respect to recruiting, screening, and referring qualified candidates to business customers. Chris also helped design and launch the city's two sector-specific Workforce1 centers, which focus on the healthcare and industrial/transportation sectors. Chris holds a Master's in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. from Stanford University.
Kimberly Howard is currently serving as the Deputy Director for Partnerships & Communications at the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development. In this role, Kimberly supports leadership in big vision ideas for city-wide collaboration and developing communication strategies for workforce initiatives. Kimberly brings over a decade of experience across industry and sector to build partnerships and create programming that supports career access and preparedness for marginalized populations.
Prior to her career in city government, Kimberly has worked with organizations such as Good Shepherd Services, Groundwork Inc., and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; supporting direct service and access to resources that provide social-emotional health, social services for families, youth development, economic & financial aid opportunity, and community engagement.
Building on her commitment to the development of first-generation college students and graduates as they prepare to enter the job market; Kimberly most recently, managed administrative and programmatic operations for the NYU School of Professional Studies, Access Program; linking students to industry specific education tracks such as Information Systems, Business and Health Care.
Kimberly is a lifelong New Yorker. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in Communications & Rhetorical Studies and a Master of Science and Education degree in Counseling, with advanced study in Mental Health Counseling from Alfred University.
Laura Gibson is the Economic Development Advisor at the New York City Mayor's Office of Talent and Workforce Development. In this role, Laura uses research-driven approaches to drive high-level policy for the next generation of integrated workforce development, training/education, and economic development. This includes overseeing the City's local hire policies and ensuring workforce development is approached in a meaningful way. Previously Laura developed and oversaw the workforce development program for NYCHA's Office of Recovery and Resilience's $3 Billion Sandy construction program. She holds a Master's in Urban Policy and Management from The New School and a B.A. in Sociology from St. John's University.
Grant Yanney is the Assistant Director, NYC Workforce Development Board Senior Advisor for the Office of Talent and Workforce Development. In this role, Grant cultivates productive relationships with Board members and serves as a steward to further promote the local workforce development system and extend the equity agenda for the future of talent in New York City
Grant carries a strong voice and is an ardent supporter towards community work. More than just a connector, Grant was a spokesman for “Young and Powerful For Obama,” a grassroots group that raised over $250,000 for President Obama’s inaugural campaign. He also spent a couple of years mentoring and advocating on behalf of nonprofit organization Chicago Youth Centers--supporting inner-city teens on the South-side of Chicago.
In May of 2013, he moved to New York City working on Laurie Cumbo's District 35 campaign. Subsequently, he worked as a Communications Aide in the District offices of Council Member Laurie Cumbo and State Senator Jesse Hamilton. Before joining the Talent and Workforce Development team, Grant worked at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where he served Borough President Eric Adams and the Borough Board in a liaison capacity. Grant studied abroad in Ghana and was a part of a media fellowship for TV-Africa. He obtained a degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha. Mr. Yanney currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.