About Mary Jo Schifsky


GenSync’s founder, Mary Jo Schifsky, believes work is engaging, rewarding and provides freedom of choice.  This includes work of all types, from when kids are young and doing household chores to first jobs, second jobs, big careers and volunteering.

With GenSync, she’s fulfilling her lifelong interest in workforce development, highlighting her personal value that meaningful work throughout life equates to productive employees and profitable enterprises.

As one of a growing cohort of individuals and institutions, she’s committed to changing the dialogue about traditional retirement age by exploring the opportunities within a multi-generational work force to fill current employer skill gaps. She broadens the discussion beyond employee age to employee value and contribution, along the whole demographic curve.

Mary Jo speaks from her experience, with over 45 years in the workforce, in for-profit, non-profit, line and staff positions, building businesses and companies. She is an experienced leader with roles at Target, Hazelden, Pickle Product and, as a visionary Executive Director for Store to Door for Seniors.

In 2017, an interim role leading the St Paul College Foundation led to two insights:  1) students, whether young or old, are poorly-informed about the dynamic needs of employers and 2) community resources, including employers and community funders, stand ready to support innovative programs to minimize the current workforce shortage.

Mary Jo’s educational credentials include an MBA, HR management coursework and leadership certification. She’s currently planning to obtain a M.Ed/Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota.

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2017 50 Over 50 Honoree - Challenging outdated beliefs about aging

2017 50 Over 50 Honoree: Challenging outdated beliefs about aging


In 2017, Mary Jo proposed a project for Capstone students at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. With sponsorship from the Minnesota Board on Aging, the students explored how employers will meet current and future workforce demands, focusing specifically on the population of older workers. Drawing on the existing Hennepin-University Partnership, the students worked closely with Hennepin County, to develop a meaningful research report:

Older Workers—A Key to Bridging the Workforce Gap, published in August 2017

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Mary Jo speaks on all aspects of workforce planning, weaving in the value and challenge of working with members of each of the five generations currently available to employers. She’s available for keynotes, workshops, seminars and internal training. Optimistic and practical, Mary Jo shares information, solutions and resources in presentations customized to meet the needs of each audience.

Here’s a sample of recent presentations:

Older Workers Employer Asset: AFL CIO Panel, 2018

Employer opportunity: MN Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Workforce Solutions Forum

Older Workers: Asset and Opportunities: 2017 Leadership Conference, MN Council of Non-Profits

Aging Workers: Asset and Opportunity: State of MN, Department of Human Services 2017 Annual Odyssey conference

Workforce Forces: MN Gerontological Society 2017 Annual conference

Why Stop Working!: Ignite Minneapolis 2016

MJS at podiumCr2

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