Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN)
Panelist Biography - Richard Petersen
Capital Area Asset Builders
Rich Petersen is the Executive Director of Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB). He is a community development and asset-building professional experienced in developing and implementing effective initiatives that have assisted people with disabilities and low-income individuals to more fully participate and succeed in the economic mainstream. Mr. Petersen is a graduate of Siena College and began his career at Project Welcome, the first national early-childhood development program designed to help children with moderate to severe disabilities to enroll in federally funded day care programs. From there, he went onto assisting adults with disabilities to pursue their personal and vocational aspirations and was involved with the passage of the American Disabilities Act. In 1993, Mr. Petersen co-founded Employment Trust Inc., a privately held employment staffing entity that assisted people with barriers to employment to obtain and maintain employment of their own informed choice. The company went on to develop and trademark, Managed Work Services, a vendor on premises service model that was replicated in New York, Baltimore, and St. Louis and served as a template for the development of the Alternative Staffing movement.
Mr. Petersen has served as the Small Business representative to the Welfare to Work Partnership; and for 15 years helped shape and lead national workforce development and asset-building initiatives at the Enterprise Foundation. In 1999, Mr. Petersen was presented with the Welfare Associate of the Year Award by President Bill Clinton in recognition of his ongoing efforts to assist people to move out of poverty.