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Innovators of the EIC: Jonah Cooper, Jr.
Innovators of the EIC is an interview series featuring innovators who work in or on the Energy Innovation Center building. These interviews ask our innovators to share what they do, how they innovate and what they’re excited to be working on. This month, we interviewed Jonah Cooper, Jr., CEO and founder of Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC.
DECEMBER 8, 2020
What is the focus of your organization?
Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC, focuses on creating strategic alliances toward private public partnerships and addressing workforce development, entrepreneurship and small business development, throughout multiple industry areas.
What is your role within your organization? What is a typical workday look like for you in that role?
As the CEO of Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC, every day begins with looking at yesterday, today and tomorrow. I’m looking at existing projects we’re involved with and touching bases with the different project leaders. I’m looking at ongoing projects and potential projects to figure out new ways to create efficiency and effectiveness. Our goal is to always improve our capacity to serve.
What do you enjoy about being at the Energy Innovation Center?
Working with Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation (PGC) at its Energy Innovation Center (EIC) is an opportunity to be part of a family, part of a village. I enjoy looking at ways in which the EIC can continue its work of becoming a hub for different thought leaders and tenants who can benefit from each other’s presence. The word ‘innovation’ attracted me, particularly when coupled with ‘energy’, because energy happens to touch all industries.
Innovation is in continuous demand. We can always be looking at new ways to be efficient and effective and new ways to explore the application of innovation. From a PGC and EIC standpoint, they’re willing to build a strong foundation to be able to harvest new fruits for tomorrow. That’s what innovation is to me. New processes, vision and procedures to help us harvest the new fruits of tomorrow.
What role does innovation play in your work?
The first thing I do is look at ways to stay as current with new technologies as possible. I look at where we can give focus to things we don’t know and learn about them, rather than focusing only on what we do know. I’m looking at how students can be teachers and teachers can be students. Sometimes untried ideas can be a benefit to our today and our tomorrow.
Something that I see a great need for is an increase in the way we focus on data, data warehousing and data mining as it relates to monitoring impact, especially when it comes to tracking the success of entrepreneurship and workforce development programs. In order to accurately measure impact, we need to come up with innovative ways of tracking and monitoring information, which is an important aspect of working to move projects forward.
What’s an accomplishment you’re extremely proud of?
What I consider to be my greatest accomplishment is having positioned myself with great thought leaders and subject matter experts in a way that allows me to learn as much as I teach. For example, being part of the PGC family gives me the opportunity to meet and learn from thought leaders in this area. In all the work that I’m doing now, I have placed myself on advisories where I can learn, in addition to providing ideas and direction.
What are you most excited about that you are doing right now, personally or professionally?
Professionally, it’s creating a vehicle for succession planning, where succession planning begins to be a daily activity in my professional life. It allows me to share what I’ve learned and help others to learn, and it introduces the benefit of new ideas and new relationships. On the personal side, I’m excited to be looking at how some of the personal interests that I have can be supported by my professional life. I am an accomplished pianist, and I’ve always kept that separate from my professional life. Now I’m looking at how the two can complement each other. They’re no longer two separate things, both get the same attention from me daily.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy listening to the ways that other people see life. What I do for fun is find new ways to bring laughter, joy and hope to people and environments that I’m part of. That’s probably what I’m known most for. We need to have more joy and humor in our lives, so I enjoy having that with anyone I’m around. Things can be so serious, but things are not as bad as they might seem. The sun is always shining on the earth, even at night, when we can’t see it. We don’t look for the sunshine enough. Looking for that sunshine and finding it makes me feel better.
Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation announces strategic partnership with Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC
Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC and partner LX3 Holding, LLC to develop and manage economic development initiatives with Pittsburgh Gateways
OCTOBER 28, 2020
Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation (PGC) is proud to announce a strategic partnership with the Philadelphia-based consulting firm, Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC, and its Atlanta-based partner, LX3 Holding, LLC, to develop and manage economic development initiatives in the areas of urban/rural sustainability, workforce development, supplier development and small and minority business development.
This partnership seeks to leverage the strengths of PGC’s Energy Innovation Center, LP with the established program strengths of Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC, and LX3 Holding, LLC, to increase the capacity to extend tangible benefits into each partner’s region. The mission of Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC, is to assist corporations, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs in looking to non-traditional partners to grow their services and bottom line. Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC will be a tenant company at the Energy Innovation Center.
As CEO, Jonah Cooper, Jr., states, “Little did we realize that our introduction to PGC would lead us into such a synergistic alliance. The opportunities are limitless as we work together to provide the resources to help grow the workforce with a new generation of innovative leaders.”
Together, PGC and Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC will work to build strategic alliances and progressive partnerships, with a focus on public-private partnerships, to bring together communities, the local government, the state government, the philanthropic community, the corporate community and small to moderate sized business, to continue to develop initiatives in the areas mentioned above. The Pittsburgh Gateways’ Energy Innovation Center, LP in Pittsburgh has tenants and collaborative partners who may also benefit from this new strategic partnership.
Dr. Robert A. Meeder, CEO & President of Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation and Energy Innovation Center, LP, states, “The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, and an organization’s success depends upon leadership that can inspire the full development of human potential. We are excited to be working with two organizations that bring deep experience and skill to the capacity to change at the speed of technology, market and social evolution. It is the new leadership imperative.”
Additionally, Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC and LX3 are engaged in a collaboration with the NFL Alumni Association to develop The NFL Alumni Job Training Service Center. This is a unique workforce development hub that specifically intends to assist veterans, incumbent workers, self-employed, or unemployed current and former on and off-field personnel and their spouses. Locating the prototype Service Center inside the Energy Innovation Center will not only help those looking for a job, but it will also expose clients to new career options.
Lenward (Jay) Bentley, Jr, CEO and President of LX3 Holding, LLC states, “In pursuit of lifelong dreams, professional athletes are naturally displaced from their collegiate areas of study, which would support them to enter the workforce. Once their dream has run its natural course and the ball that once bounced in their favor has gone flat, the football phrase ‘sudden change’ takes on a new meaning. The NFL Alumni Service Center exists to aid the NFL Alumni members in their transitional phase from the field back to the workforce. Nelson Mandela stated, ‘I never lose, I either win or learn.’ It’s never too late to learn!”
Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation is both proud and excited to enter this strategic partnership with Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC and LX3 Holding, LLC.
For more information, contact:
Liz Harper, Pittsburgh Gateways
412-651-2778 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Scott, Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC
215-778-1667 or email@example.com
Lenward Bentley Jr., LX3 Holding LLC
404-304-1854 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Pittsburgh Gateways
Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation’s mission is to provide strategic planning, development and direct management assistance for communities, community-based economic development organizations, research & academic institutions and private entities seeking the acceleration of technology-based businesses. Incorporated into this mission is our goal to combat community deterioration in the City of Pittsburgh and other economically distressed areas of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit www.pghgateways.org.
About Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC
Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC is comprised of consulting experts with long-term and wide-ranging national expertise which includes the fields of workforce development, leadership development, diversity training, education & training, entrepreneurship, business engagement and supplier development. Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC works within industry sectors which include Healthcare, Communications, Information Technology, Hospitality & Retail, Construction Trades, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy & Utilities and Transportation, Logistics & Distribution. Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC is committed to helping develop strategic partnerships for the “possible” that might otherwise be overlooked. Jonah Cooper, Jr. LLC is in the business of believing, powered by innovative vision and broad-based experience which serves to make us “your partner for the possible.” For more information, visit www.jcooperjr.com.
About LX3 Holding LLC
LX3 Holding, LLC, is an Atlanta-based strategic economic development agency that cross-pollinates municipalities with innovative technology and actively elicits community involvement while working with local governments as well as the charitable and private sectors to build strong communities, industries, and markets. LX3 is currently working with the NFL Alumni Association, NFL Alumni Academy, WAV Sports and Entertainment, Infusion HF70+, and multiple private corporations to influence the economic impact in several locations worldwide. LX3 seeks to educate, inspire, and empower individuals and groups of people with the necessary skills needed to effect change within their communities. For more information, visit www.lx3holding.com.
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