Michael J. Ruffin serves as Project Manager for the Network for Economic Opportunity (The Network); an initiative of the City of New Orleans. In this capacity, Michael works directly with Departmental Directors, the City’s Civil Service department, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) and local employers to assess their workforce needs and connect job seekers to available employment opportunities with the City of New Orleans. Additionally, Michael played a vital role establishing the newest STRIVE International affiliate, STRIVE New Orleans, an intensive job readiness training program that connects disadvantaged job seekers in New Orleans to career pathway opportunities. Also, he manages logistics for the Network’s events, represents the Network at workforce development meetings and provides additional support for special projects originating from the executive office.
In May 2012, he began working in local government as Program Coordinator, leading the City’s Saving Our Sons: SOS NOLA Initiative. The model for this program is to provide safe recreational opportunities in crime hot spots for young men through the game of basketball. Mentorship and educational support are key components of the initiative. Now known as NOLA FOR LIFE: Midnight Basketball this program has reached over 6,000 participants and 2,700 spectators.
In January 2013, Michael was promoted to serve as Special Assistant to the Mayor. He prepared briefings for the Mayor, provided staff support at internal and external engagements, managed event logistics and supported special projects originating from the executive office. Also, he was the City’s representative for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebration. This annual event attracts over 1,000 participants through a variety of programs and service projects. He held this position until August 2014.
Born and raised in New Orleans, his personal mission is to “build and sustain economic wealth for the urban community; more importantly, to serve as a role-model for fatherless sons.” He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Xavier University of Louisiana and an MBA from the University of New Orleans (UNO). His hobbies include reading leadership books and playing basketball.