Karen Tyler-Ruiz, Director

Karen Tyler-Ruiz is the Director of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, a National Fund for Innovative Workforce Collaborative, that is focused on ensuring there is a skilled workforce in the urban centers of our region (City of Detroit, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties), that connects to and propels economic growth for the region’s businesses. Ruiz is also the Senior Director of Financial Stability, at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.  She leads its efforts to help low-income individuals and their families to become financially stable by Earning family-sustaining wages as well as Keeping and Growing assets.

Ruiz also provides leadership to the Greater Detroit Centers for Working Families network in partnership with Detroit Local Initiates Support Corporation (LISC), a partnership she helped to create and continues to nurture.

Prior to joining United Way for Southeastern Michigan, she spent more than nine years supporting the organizational growth of non-profit community neighborhood builders with Detroit LISC, creating and leading its wealth building strategy and working to design a local sustainable communities initiative as part of a multi-pronged strategy to reinvigorate and revitalize Detroit’s neighborhoods.

Ruiz holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, certificates in Organizational Development & Adult Learning and is a NDC Certified Housing Development Finance Professional.


Gabriela Dorantes, Program Associate

Gabriela Dorantes is the Program Associate of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund. She has worked as a Project Management Assistant and Executive Administrative Assistant with the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression with the Organization of American States in Washington, DC.

She is a graduate of The George Washington University and holds a BA in International Relations and Spanish Literature. As a student she co-founded Trafficking Free GW, a student group focused on raising awareness on the issue of human trafficking. Gabriela interned at FAIR GIRLS where she researched the demographics of child prostitution in Washington, DC and raised awareness on the issue of domestic human trafficking by speaking at community meetings. In the fall of 2010, she interned with the Americas division of Human Rights Watch, where she provided logistical support and conducted research on various human rights topics.

Karen Tyler-Ruiz, director of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund (left) with Board Chair Wendy Jackson, senior program officer for the Kresge Foundation.
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