President and CEO, Northern Virginia Technology Council, McLean
Jennifer Taylor’s birthplace of Middletown, Ohio, is the backdrop of GOP U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance’s 2016 book “Hillbilly Elegy,” a memoir about growing class divisions in the Rust Belt.
While Taylor now lives in Northern Virginia and leads one of the largest regional technology trade associations in the nation, she honors her roots by advocating for training opportunities for people traditionally underrepresented in the tech sector.
“My passion is focused on making sure we don’t leave people behind,” Taylor says. “Let’s give Americans a chance to have meaningful wage-sustaining jobs in tech fields.”
One way to do that is through apprenticeships, which allow people without college degrees to complete training to fill in-demand technology roles.
In partnership with IBM, Taylor launched an apprenticeship coalition when she worked for the Consumer Technology Association as vice president of industry affairs in 2017. Hundreds of tech apprenticeships have been created since the coalition started, she says.
“I am very proud of my work to encourage tech companies to offer apprenticeships,” she says. “Apprenticeships give access to talent that may never have considered careers in technology, which ultimately helps diversify the workforce.”
Taylor became president of the Northern Virginia Technology Council in 2020, following the retirement of longtime NVTC leader Bobbie Kilberg. Her experience also includes sales, strategy and marketing positions at AARP and the American Red Cross, and Taylor has prioritized modernizing the organization and implementing a strategic plan focused on accelerating tech innovation and creating more tech jobs in the region.