Congratulations to Jim Oliviera, CEO, on his upcoming retirement on March 31, 2023.

On March 31, 2023, our long time former Executive Director and current CEO, Jim Oliveira, will be retiring. Our staff and members of the GNB Workforce Board have expressed mixed emotions about Jim’s momentous life event. On one hand, we all truly wish Jim the best in his long-overdue retirement. On the other, we all know that filling the void in wisdom and knowhow that Jim leaves behind will be daunting.

Jim joined the Board the summer of 2011 as Senior Director of Operations and was tasked with writing workforce development grants, planning and allocating training funds associated with the New Bedford Career Center and maintaining key components of the GNB Workforce Board’s strategic plan for the region. In short order, Jim was appointed Executive Director/CEO and continued to expand annual goals and work plans in the areas of business development, marketing, oversight and performance and youth training initiatives. During this time, Jim also served the staff as mentor, advisor and leader, providing guidance with a door that was always open.

A graduate of Southeastern Massachusetts University, Jim attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Science after serving in the United States Navy. Jim’s service included active duty during Vietnam in a P-3 Orion Sub Hunter Squadron (VP-8). It was there that he first became engaged in workforce development as an education petty officer, helping his shipmates complete training requirements for advancement.

During the 1980s, Jim continued to serve the Greater New Bedford area as the Executive Director for the North End Business Association, Branch Officer for Shawmut Bank, Community Relation Advisor to Mayor John Bullard, and subsequently served as the City’s Economic Development Director. During this period, Jim gained valuable experience and knowledge of how the workforce development system operates by participating as an associate of the Private Industry Council and serving as the Mayor’s liaison to the Office for Job Partnerships/JTEC.

While with the City of New Bedford, Jim was intimately involved with the intermunicipal agreement that led to attracting Titleist Ball Plant II to the New Bedford Business Park. He also worked with the Dukakis administration that led to locating the UMass Dartmouth SMAST facility in New Bedford’s South End.

Upon leaving the city, Mr. Oliveira spent 20 years in the development of workforce systems to assist Department of Transitional Assistance clients find meaningful employment. Jim has worked in several cities from Boston to Cape Cod, guiding a team of employment counselors to coordinate job placements on behalf of Cognosco and LifeStream, Inc. He has visited over 150 Long Term Care Facilities and Health Care Agencies throughout his career. He also developed many great relationships in manufacturing, distribution and retail.

Jim has also served on the Board of the Massachusetts Workforce Association as a member and Treasurer, past representative of Ward 1 on the New Bedford City Council, Chairman of the Employment Opportunities Committee, Chair of the Airport Committee and Vice Chairman of Public Safety.

Currently, Jim is as an active member of several organizations, including One Southcoast Chamber, Port Authority of New Bedford Commission Member and Finance Committee, Rotary Club past president and member for 10 plus years, and formerly on the Board of the Southeast Economic Development Council, and Board of the New Bedford Boys and Girls Club.

In the dictionary, one of the definitions for a legacy is “the long-lasting impact of particular events, actions, etc. that took place in the past, or of a person’s life.”

Jim’s exemplary career, and even more so, Jim’s willingness to mentor and provide guidance, is a lasting legacy to Workforce Board and to Greater New Bedford as a whole.

Now we must ask…

Didn’t you only just start yesterday? Happy retirement, Jim!