21st Century Job Skills Project


Director - John D. Gardner. Lieutenant General, US Army (retired). Jack Gardner served in command positions in Europe, Latin America, Korea, Bosnia, Iraq and numerous locations in the US. In his final assignment he served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. A native of Columbus, Ohio and a life-long Ohio State football fan, he lives in Alexandra, Virginia. He is the Founder of the 21st Century Jobskills Project, a nonprofit organization focused on facilitating all public school students in achieving a true living wage job. The nonprofit is currently coordinating a pilot program in the community of Haverhill, MA designed to achieve this goal. He is also a Co-founder of Luminary LLC, a software company that develops artificial intelligence tools designed to provide real-time access to practical knowledge.


Jean-Paul Duvivier. Jean-Paul is an investigator and compliance officer focused on financial crime cases for a DC-based law firm. Previously, “J.P.” managed counter financial crime programs and projects at Deutsche Bank AG, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, and financial institutions in the U.S. and overseas. He served 12 years with the U.S. Treasury Department as a Compliance Officer, Sanctions Investigator, Senior Policy Advisor, and Diplomat. He has engaged extensively with both U.S. and foreign government agencies and the financial sector. His overseas postings included China, Germany, and Colombia. JP received his B.A. from Connecticut College and M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.


Bruce Mamont. Retired engineering manager, The Boeing Company, leading software development teams on the U.S. Air Force KC-46 aerial refueling “tanker” program, U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane Avionics Modernization Program, Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio program, U.S. Army Future Combat Systems program, and National Missile Defense program. In technical assignments as a U.S. Army officer, led teams of software engineers and scientists in the development and use of artificial intelligence simulations and simulations that tested automated intelligence analysis systems. Served in a variety of infantry assignments, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Currently working as the assistant chief instructor at a flight school north of Seattle, Washington. Advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics.


Thomas Meyer. Thomas is a consultant with Bain & Co. in Boston. Earlier in his career, Thomas was a program director at The Philanthropy Roundtable, where he advised major philanthropists on their charitable giving. He also co-founded the Independence Project, a non-profit employment program for veterans with disabilities. Thomas completed his MBA at MIT, a Fox Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, and BA at Yale University.

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Our Focus



Our Goal: Every public school student achieves a true living wage job.


Our Concept:On a pro bono basis help communities build and coordinate a systemic community process that focuses resources and energy on a singular goal - all public school students achieve a true living wage job. To accomplish this we establish a local Public-Private Partnership, leverage existing programs and organizations, and execute certain tasks currently not performed in the community.


      a. Formally brief students and parents on career fields, how to identify a student’s talents and interests, and how to develop a career plan that leads to a living wage job. This career exploration process begins in 6th grade in middle school and is reinforced through high school.

      b. Provide mentors on a community-wide scale to individuals requiring assistance from middle school age thru post-high school early adult age.

      c. Provide high school students access to short-term internships and live/virtual career tours to help them better understand career fields.

      d. Assist with transportation where required – essentially eliminate transportation as the obstacle to achieving a true living wage job. Examples include providing assistance getting to an internship during high school, getting to post-high school training or education, or getting to a first job after graduation.

      e. Provide a website that provides career assessment and planning tools plus ways to identify specific living wage jobs in the local general area.

      f. Perhaps most significantly, annually bring the Partnership together, assess progress, and identify collective community actions required to achieve the singular goal. This may require an adjustment to the Partnership’s activities or a need to provide more resources to another community program.


Why Now:Every American should realistically be able to achieve meaningful living wage employment, have a good place to live, and have the ability to raise a family if they desire. The nation was founded on the premise that if you apply yourself you can achieve this.


Throughout our history many have, and over time we built a large middle class that has proven to be a source of pride and stability for the nation. But for some this success has remained aspirational.


In a period of rapid technological and economic change that is characterized by an increase in demand for certain skills, the growth of well-paying jobs in certain fields, and a declining size of the workforce, we have an urgent need and a unique opportunity to extend this success to everyone.


Achieving this goal was not realistic a decade ago. It is now. Technology provides access to a host of tools and resources that change the equation – detailed employment websites (Indeed.com, Monster.com,…), professional credentialing courses for in-demand skills (python programming, project management…), Uber/Lyft to get there, apprenticeships/internships, flexible/creative Community College programs, virtual tours of career fields/businesses, zoom conversations with mentors, …


A systemic community approach that leverages this change can succeed and extend the American Dream to all Americans…