- On August 9, 2021
Judy Silvia – MassMEP Employee Highlights
Judy Silvia is the Director of Public Affairs at MassMEP and has been with the organization just over 3 months. Get in a conversation with her and you will discover that her job covers much ground. “My role is to maintain, grow and improve all our relationships with stakeholders,” Judy states. “MassMEP has many different stakeholders, for example the legislature. Much of my work involves expanding our reach with the legislature. I meet with them and introduce them to MassMEP. That helps to increase our brand on the hill, where we want to be the voice of manufacturing. It’s the same with the administration and other stakeholders, for example our manufacturing community. I’m really looking forward to going out and meeting with them as COVID quiets down. Other stakeholders include community colleges, other business groups, MassHIRE Workforce Boards and Career Centers, and NIST and other MEP Centers. I’ve been reaching out to the MEP Centers and networking, and looking to share expertise, ideas and best practices with the other MEP Public Affairs staff. I’ve also had lots of meetings with my MassMEP colleagues too, to fully understand what we do so I can speak to it with our stakeholders. It’s really an exciting position!”
Judy continues, “Like millions of others, I lost my job because of COVID. I got a part-time job with Middlesex Community College Law Center, and was also doing some contract work, as well as continually looking for a full-time job. The manufacturing community has always been special to me, going back to my days of working at AIM. I had been doing some networking and reached out to someone at AIM. I’d known about MassMEP and asked my AIM contact if they could connect me up with someone at MassMEP. It all worked out and was good timing all the way around.”
“Prior to COVID, all the jobs I’ve had I’ve found because I was on that future employer’s advisory committee. I started my career at the legislature as counsel for the Energy Committee and was on the advisory board for AIM and the electrical restructuring. AIM thought they needed someone in house to look at this for the manufacturers. It was such a big issue and was turning the manufacturing industry upside down in the way that we purchased electricity. I had been with AIM for several years when the MassTech collaborative received funding for the renewable energy trust. They started an advisory committee, and I was on it representing the manufacturing community. I subsequently landed there for 12 years, where I was on an advisory committee for workforce and health care for the Community Colleges. My last job was working with the state universities and community colleges. I collaborated with the presidents to look at cost saving in all areas, from joint training, to workforce, to financial aid to cyber security, and whatever colleges do and how they can work together. When COVID hit the colleges were cut off at the knees and were uncertain about what was going to happen. My staff and I could see it coming, that we would be laid off.”
With this strong public affairs/relations background it is no surprise that Judy states, “My passion is people, as corny as it sounds. I love collaborating and working with people – it’s what I’ve always done. With COVID and being on zoom all the time, it makes that more difficult. I am hoping I can bring my knowledge and experience to MassMEP because I really love working with people and bringing people together in a positive way. It’s about finding common solutions and building partnerships with unexpected parties.”
Outside of work Judy is just as active as she is at work. “I was a professional dancer at one point. Dance continues to be my passion along with yoga, which I’ve taken up in the last 10 years. It’s like ‘eat, sleep, dance’. I continue to teach four nights a week. It is such a big part of my life – I sort of have to have it and I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
How well do you know Judy? Two of these statements are true and one is not. Can you guess which one?
1) I was a veterinary technician.
2) I was a dancer on a cruise line.
3) My first concert was Led Zeppelin.