Marano Fellows Class of 2012

Name: Christopher Bernhardt

Program Director


Madison Strategies Group

Location: Tulsa, OK
Industry Sector: Transportation & Manufacturing
Type of Organization: Nonprofit Workforce Development

Organizational Background & Mission: “A dynamic workforce builds healthy businesses... Healthy businesses lead to more employment, higher wages and vibrant communities.”


  • Madison Strategies Group is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals to build stable and productive lives through education, training and professional development experiences that support an evolving business environment.


  • Madison Strategies Group is a national non-profit organization that was founded by a group of workforce development professionals to build upon outstanding business-driven service delivery practices and replicate them on a wider scale. MSG’s success stems from its outstanding ability to match jobseekers with open positions by identifying the skills most needed by the industry and providing jobseekers with the training and preparation required to succeed in those jobs. Madison Strategies Group began in 2011 by operating Career Directions in New York City, an initiative funded by the Robin Hood Foundation which focuses on preparing low income, underserved and immigrant populations for jobs with the organization’s business partners. Since that time MSG has taken on additional programs including Transportation Connections WorkAdvance in Tulsa, OK, a veterans initiative in New York City, and a program for soon-to-be-released ex-offenders

Interest in Sector Work: Madison Strategies Group, through a Social Innovation Fund grant from the Center for Economic Opportunity, Tulsa Community Foundation, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, launched a new sector-based career advancement program in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2011 that will provide 550 low-income individuals with high-quality training, job placement and advancement services. Transportation Connections WorkAdvance is a new program modeled after a similarly successful sector-based approach to workforce development in New York City. This initiative is a sector-based approach to workforce development that focuses services on both low-income individuals and a certain set of industries to improve the overall system. The program is designed to respond to the needs of Tulsa’s transportation, aviation, and aerospace sectors. Over the next year and a half TCW will enroll over 200 individuals in a variety of industry relevant trainings including CNC machining, aviation manufacturing, diesel maintenance, and commercial truck driving. WorkAdvance is one of five evidence-based initiatives to be implemented in cities across the country by the Center for Economic Opportunity, which is seeking to build a national body of evidence in support of promising programs.