- On August 31, 2020
Leslie Parady MassMEP Employee Highlights
Leslie Parady is the Workforce Development Manager at MassMEP. Workforce development can be a broad term, so Leslie shares how it applies to what she does. “I help our clients with their learning and development needs, on-boarding needs, and strategic development for their workforce. This covers anything that is on the technical side of things. I have also been involved with grant writing on the federal side. That includes putting together a package that hits on the requirements of the grant: demonstrating the need and telling them how you are going to resolve the problem as fits their need. It’s a lot of paperwork and it’s a lot of organization. In order to achieve work goals, I work with our clients, MassMEP colleagues, higher education, MassHire Career Centers, and workforce investment boards.”
Prior to MassMEP, Leslie spent 12 years at Reed Rico, a manufacturer that her grandfather had worked at. She went to Reed Rico right out of art school, RI School of Design, to work in the marketing department. Because they were a leveraged buyout company, they all had to pitch in and do lots of things. Leslie was very technically oriented, and as things moved along she took on new roles and had different departments. By the time she left she had everything but the outside sales staff and the finance department. One of the reasons she left was because had a young son at home – and they said they wanted to give her South America too. The former Reed Rico president was John Prosser, who was also Chairman of the Board at MassMEP. He connected Leslie with Jack Healy and Ted Bauer and the rest is history.
The part of the job that Leslie enjoys the most is going to a variety of different types of manufacturers. Leslie says, “When you work for one company like I did with Reed Rico, you are there every day with their problems over and over again. I like to go on shop tours where you get to see cool things and you meet some really cool people. There is so much to navigate in the workforce that even some of the most adept HR people aren’t aware of what’s available to help manufacturers. And the state really does have an awful lot. I’m able to sit and talk with them and ask them, ‘Have you thought about this, have you considered that.’ Because MassMEP is in so many places, we see so much, I can say, ‘I have a client that did this – have you thought about that?’ HR has become a benefit administration, especially in smaller manufacturers. There are very few companies that do strategic HR, so it’s fun to be able to go in and help them with that.”
When asked about what she likes to do outside of work, Leslie hesitates and then continues, “Out of work…..hmmmmm…….I have been a single mother for 23 years. My life has revolved around work, mowing the lawn, doing grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and taking care of my at-the-time toddler. It’s only now that he is going into his senior year in college that I have the time to try some new stuff. This COVID pandemic has taught me a couple of things about myself. I don’t loathe cooking like I thought I did. I don’t loathe gardening like I thought that I did. MassMEP gave me the flexibility to raise my son. Now I’m getting to an age and time where it’s more about what I want to do. I want to go back to my artwork. I also have been lifting weights and going to the gym on a regular basis for the last couple of years and I love that. I want to get back into things that are more active again but didn’t have a chance to do those things consistently. I want to sew, I want to knit.” Laughing she adds, “I want to do EVERYTHING and that’s the problem. I’ve been able to read more and with the gym closed and I mean to read for fun. It’s been good and interesting! I’ll be running out straight again exploring.”
How well do you know Leslie? Two of these statements are true and one is not. Can you guess which one?
1) I can deadlift more than my body weight.
2) I am a green belt in karate, not Six Sigma.
3) I am a True Crime podcast junkie.