Greg Jacobs is the co-director, with Jon Siskel, of the award-winning new documentary The Road Up. The co-founder of Chicago-based Siskel/Jacobs Productions, Greg most recently wrote and co-directed No Small Matter, the first feature documentary about the power and potential impact of early childhood education. Prior to that, he co-directed the acclaimed documentary Louder Than a Bomb, about the world’s largest youth poetry slam, which won seventeen festival awards and had its global premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and served as Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-winning documentaries 102 Minutes that Changed America for the History Channel and Witness: Katrina for the National Geographic Channel. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Greg is the author of Getting Around Brown: Desegregation, Development, and the Columbus Public Schools, and a 2016 New America Fellow.
“The Road Up” follows four participants in Cara, a Chicago job-training program, as they search for stable employment and a pathway out of poverty. In each case, they took their experience—often learned from the hardships of daily life rather than the workplace itself—and applied it to finding and keeping a job. Join a robust discussion about the film and the steps manufacturers can take across the employee lifecycle to find overlooked talent.
Sara leads Cara Collective’s national expansion arm, Cara Plus, where she drives growth, strategic partnerships, and impact to help businesses and non-profits drive more inclusive employment pathways around the country. Prior to Cara Collective, Sara spent 12 years managing, measuring, and scaling programs across the social sector in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as a social impact strategy and measurement consultant for organizations like the Canadian Federal Government, City of Chicago, Google.org, TD Bank, and YouTube. Sara serves on the Executive Board of Spark and as a graduate mentor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. She holds a BA from Boston University and an MPP from the University of Chicago.
AJ Jorgenson is vice president of strategic engagement at The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. Ms. Jorgenson develops and executes all strategic operations for the Institute’s Diversity and Inclusion pillar, and leads the Institute’s longest running program, the STEP Women’s Initiative. She is helping to foster and promote an inclusive culture in manufacturing, supporting companies with their D&I efforts and amplifying best practices to multiply the impact and leading industry engagements to increase the number of women and underrepresented populations in manufacturing.
Previously, as Communications Director for the Institute, Ms. Jorgenson oversaw national Manufacturing Day reaching 350,000 students, parents, and teachers and helped lead the Institute’s partnership with the U.S. military to assist veterans and transitioning military personnel prepare for and find jobs in manufacturing. Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Jorgenson worked at the NAM as the Manager of Board and Strategic Initiatives, where she was responsible for developing engagement strategies for the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the NAM, Ms. Jorgenson served as the Executive Coordinator of Research and Development for Mars, Incorporated.
Ms. Jorgenson is certified trainer of Emotional Intelligence and has earned a professional certification Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida.
Ms. Jorgenson currently lives in Lovettsville, Virginia with her and her husband, four children, a dog and cat.