Jessica Valand

Director, Workforce and Economic Development

Jess is the Director of Economic and Workforce Development at Results for America. Having joined RFA in 2022, she leads jurisdiction-facing engagements with workforce and economic development agencies and their partners. Jess brings nearly 20 years of experience in workforce and economic development, both domestically and internationally. Most recently, she served as a workforce director in rural Colorado, overseeing multiple American Job Centers across a 10-county region. Prior, Jess was the state-level administrator of TANF and SNAP E&T, as well as the founding director of ReHIRE Colorado, an evidence-based transitional jobs program participating in a multi-year randomized control trial evaluation with the University of Colorado. 

With an extensive background that ranges from direct service, to policy design and program evaluation, to executive-level administration, she has worked across the spectrum of anti-poverty, career training and workforce development programs, at every level of government. With particular expertise in TANF, SNAP E&T and WIOA, she currently supports governments and their partners nationwide on fostering good jobs, improving workforce and postsecondary outcomes, and adopting evidence-based practices that foster equitable economic opportunities.

A proud Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Jess holds an undergraduate degree in political science, and a master’s degree in Development Economics from the University of Denver. A lucky resident of Ski Town, USA (Steamboat Springs, CO), she’s skilled at snow blowing, keeping her kids from falling off chair lifts, and making the most of a 49-day growing season.