Alaant Celebrates Black History Month
with Crickett Thomas-O’Dell, Regional Director of the Capital Region Workforce Development Institute (WDI)
Alaant Workforce Solutions is strongly committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We firmly believe these values serve as catalysts to strengthen our workforce and enrich our community. Throughout February, in conjunction with the celebration of Black History Month, we are proud to feature the important insights of African-American business leaders from across our region. Their perspectives both inspire us and encourage us to further the cause of ensuring diversity and inclusion are well represented in the workplace.
Our first guest is Cricket Thomas-O’Dell, Regional Director – Capital Region, Workforce Development Institute (WDI)
We asked Cricket: What Does Black History Month Mean to You?
“Celebrating Black History Month provides an opportunity to consciously pause and reflect upon all of the outstanding accomplishments and achievements of African Americans to our country and our way of life. It is also a time for me to remember that the struggles that African Americans experienced getting to where we are today are not over. While it brings a smile to my face and fills me with pride and joy to know that celebrating all of the contributions that have been made to this country by people of color is the focus for one solid month, I have to also stay focused on the very real fact that we still have such a long way to go in leveling the playing field and creating racial fairness and equality for everyone. Lately, it almost feels like with every triumphant moment of celebration, we've also had to deal with moments of sadness and disillusionment for people of color. We must continue to press forward – the battle is not over.”
Crickett Thomas-O’Dell joined WDI after spending 3 years commuting bi-weekly to oversee the daily operations of a transportation services company based in Washington, DC. She has spent the bulk of her professional career working in educational settings, providing consultative services in the areas of college enrollment management, the transition from print to digital learning environments, international educational travel, and STEM curriculum implementation at the high school and middle school levels. A 5th degree black belt in Karate, Crickett is active in a host of community organizations, including serving as president of Saratoga Sparks Girls AAU Basketball.
Highlight of my role at WDI: Every day, I get to be engaged in some way with providing an opportunity for good jobs to exist in the Capital Region. Whether that’s by participating in discussions that will help move an initiative along to create new jobs and opportunities in general, or by providing specific resources to a company that will directly impact those employees by training them in new skills and/or providing new equipment for them, it’s great to be a part of this organization!
Connect with Crickett on LinkedIn.
Michelle Conn, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager
Michelle is passionate about women succeeding in the workplace. She loves baseball, running and baking. She’s a dedicated non-profit board-member and volunteer. She calls the beach her happy place and is the mother of 3 boys.