JEVS Human Services welcomed John Colborn this month as Chief Operating Officer. Colborn is an established leader in the workforce development field with extensive knowledge of policy and practice. He previously served as the Director of Skills for America’s Future, an employer-led workforce development initiative of the Aspen Institute, as well as with the Ford Foundation and The Reinvestment Fund. Let’s learn more about John…
Q. What attracted you to this important role at JEVS Human Services?
A. Having worked nationally for over 15 years, I wanted to return to the local level where I can be closer to the “point of impact” of my work. I love working with an organization that touches tens of thousands of people every year.
Q. JEVS employees embrace our slogan “Making Hope Happen” in the work they do. What does this slogan mean to you?
A. Making hope happen at JEVS, for me, means advancing the independence and the dignity of our clients and customers using practical and proven approaches.
Q. As you tour our program sites and learn more about our core services, what strikes you?
A. I’m spending a lot of time getting to know the JEVS team and our clients. I am first struck by the passion and dedication of the JEVS staff, and the thoughtfulness and compassion they bring to their work. And I am inspired by JEVS’s clients who demonstrate perseverance, sometimes against breathtaking challenges.
Q. You are a graduate of Wharton School at Penn. Welcome back to Philadelphia! What do you think are JEVS’s greatest opportunities in this region?
A. Philadelphia is a come-back city. JEVS plays a critical role in ensuring that the most vulnerable among the region’s residents share in that comeback.
Q. What was your first job?
A. In high school, I was hired by the parks department to pick dead fish out of a pond—definitely a job that started bad and only got worse.
Q. Give us a glimpse into John Colborn outside of work. What do you like to do on the weekends?
A. I have a very energetic Jack Russell Terrier, and my husband and I are always looking for hikes and other explorations that can keep him entertained. We’re also hopeless addicts to “Game of Thrones” and a few other TV shows, which we’re always trying to catch up on. I am the cook in our household, so I am looking forward to making full use of the Italian and Reading Terminal markets for ingredients.
Q. What do you put on your cheesesteak?
A. Provolone, onions, peppers and mayo. However, it’s the roll that makes or breaks a cheesesteak, in my humble opinion.