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Ellen Johnson

Senior Director, Workforce Development

  • Biography

Ellen Johnson is a seasoned facilitator, capacity-builder, and workforce development expert. Since joining Afton, Ellen has led the build-out of Afton’s workforce development portfolio through facilitation of both state-wide Commissions and local communities of practice, focusing on the development of actionable recommendations that center worker voice and promote equity. Prior to joining Afton, Ellen served as the Director of the Frontline Focus Training Institute at the Chicago Jobs Council. In this role—through curriculum development, best practice research, and coalition building—she led the development of a premier, nationally recognized professional development training program for the workforce development field. Ellen has served as a thought partner and project manager for several strategic capacity building projects across the City of Chicago, including overseeing the revision of a curriculum used within Chicago Public Schools to train school counselors on students’ post-secondary options; supporting a Collective of workforce organizations to serve as a single point of access for employers looking to hire overlooked talent from the south and west sides of Chicago; and developing a combined program delivery model for two merging workforce organizations.

Ellen is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and attended Drake University where she received her bachelor’s degree in English Writing and Sociology. She also received Masters degrees in both Social Work and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.