In April 2012, Emily DeRocco launched a Washington, D.C.-based strategic consulting practice focused on linking education, workforce and economic development assets for competitive advantage. She currently serves as Senior Strategic Advisor to the ACT Foundation and Director of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations co-managed by Business Roundtable and the Foundation. Ms. DeRocco is also directing the Education and Workforce strategies for the newly-designated, Detroit-based American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Ms. DeRocco is the immediate past president of The Manufacturing Institute where she launched and implemented a strategic national agenda focused on education reform and workforce development, innovation support and services, and research on behalf of U.S. manufacturers. Under her leadership, the Institute developed and deployed a system of nationally portable, industry-recognized Manufacturing Skills Certifications now influencing secondary and post-secondary education reform efforts in 36 states; chaired the National Thought Leaders Forum on linking the nation’s high performance supercomputing capacity to manufacturers; and released leading-edge research including The Facts About Modern Manufacturing; The Innovation Imperative: How U.S. Manufacturing Can Restore Its Edge; The Manufacturing Industry’s Structural Cost Study; People & Profitability; and The Annual Index of the Public Perception About Modern Manufacturing.
Prior to her leadership in U.S. manufacturing, Ms. DeRocco was nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary of Labor in 2001. In that position, she was responsible for managing a $10 billion investment in the nation’s workforce. She created and implemented regional economic development initiatives in 39 regions across the nation during her tenure, using talent development strategies to drive competitive advantage for America’s businesses. Her responsibilities included implementation of Trade Adjustment Assistance for displaced workers, alternative educational pathways for the nation’s youth, the permanent and temporary foreign labor certification programs for employment-based immigration, the national apprenticeship program, and workforce development programs nationwide. She created and led Presidential initiatives to align education, economic development, and workforce development investments to increase the capacity of the nation’s community college system.
During her tenure with the Labor Department, Ms. DeRocco chaired or vice-chaired numerous boards and commissions, including the Education and Workforce Committee of the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the Education and Workforce Committee of the Department of Commerce’s Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing, and the President’s Committee on Economic Adjustment for the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Adjustment Commission.
Ms. DeRocco has represented the United States and led delegations in international forums including the G-8 Labor Ministerials, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Western Hemisphere Competitiveness Forum, U.S.-Canada Policy Forums, and U.S.-EU Dialogues.
Ms. DeRocco also brings over ten years of private sector experience in managing a national non-profit organization and prior federal government experience at the Departments of Energy and Interior, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Ms. DeRocco is a proud graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and received her Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown Law Center. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Western Governors University, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, the University of Mississippi’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence, Hope Street Group, and EWI~the Ohio-based innovator in manufacturing technologies.