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City of Tampa hires Brenda McKenzie as Director of Workforce Partnerships & Special Projects

TAMPA, FL (November 20, 2020) – The City of Tampa has hired Brenda “Bren” McKenzie as Director of Workforce Partnerships and Special Projects.

In addition to implementing special projects directed by the Administration, the position will provide essential support of Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow initiative to address the City’s labor shortage, foster a healthy workforce and remove barriers to access.


“It is critically important that we cultivate a strong, talented workforce here in Tampa across all industries. By utilizing Bren’s extensive expertise and the Workforce Development Advisory Team recommendations we can maximize our resources to make a tangible impact on our workforce ecosystem by touching every corner of the City,” said Mayor Jane Castor.

Bren brings over 20 years of experience focused on building inclusive and innovative residential and business communities using strategies that have resulted in over $20 billion of impactful and sustainable growth. While holding executive leadership positions as a Chief Business Strategist, President and CEO, and Economic Development Director with several major cities within the United States, Bren has been successful in developing and maintaining public-private partnerships in economic and workforce development.

“I am thrilled to join the City of Tampa and Mayor Jane Castor in Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow. This will truly be a collaborative effort - working with businesses, stakeholders and residents to foster a strong resilient workforce both for today and for the future,” said Bren McKenzie, Director of Workforce Partnerships & Special Projects.

About Brenda McKenzie

Brenda McKenzie’s 25-year career reflects her passion for melding her public & private sector experience to create vibrant environments and communities. She brings practical solutions to spur economic development, job growth and community engagement among businesses, developers and residents. She believes in crafting sustainable, growing economies because strong economies yield strong vibrant communities.

As a planner, public administrator, economic development practitioner, entrepreneur and public affairs professional, she has implemented creative strategies that have leveraged more than $20 billion in private investment during her career. Heading efforts in the cities of Chicago, Boston and Baltimore as well as corporations including Starbucks Coffee Company have thrived and been able to express their unique vision because of her ability to consistently achieve tangible results.

Brenda serves on the national board of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City - founded by renowned Harvard Business School Professor, Michael Porter, that promotes innovative strategies for job creation in cities.

Bren holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois (Chicago) College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and is a Chicago Community Trust Fellow.

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