Opportunities, Inc. of Jefferson County is a prominent social enterprising organization with its corporate campus located in Fort Atkinson and three other locations in Madison, Oconomowoc and Watertown that promotes community employment and independence for over 3000 people on an annual basis. This ambitious mission can only be accomplished through strong leadership and vision. Barbara LeDuc, President and CEO of Opportunities, Inc. recently celebrated 30 years with the agency and is certainly the driving force behind its recognizable success.
LeDuc began her career with Opportunities, Inc. in the early eighties as an intern from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. She was charged with the role to seek and secure community employment for individuals with significant disabilities. Back then, Opportunities, Inc. had one location in Fort Atkinson and served less than 100 people. Although her focus of study was human resources; LeDuc blossomed within the social service setting and brought forth a fresh mind for business to the environment, as well.
The next twenty years, Opportunities, Inc. experienced significant growth in programs and infrastructure. Under the mentorship of long time president Spencer Jensen, LeDuc flourished. Her determination and charisma led to the establishment of a professional employment solutions division called Diversified Personnel Services, which recently celebrated 25 years of successful business, with locations in Madison, Watertown, Oconomowoc and Fort Atkinson. At the same time, LeDuc realized the need for expanded youth services and collaborated with local law enforcement and school districts to establish a restorative justice program and school to work program. Today, Opportunities, Inc. serves over 500 youth in six counties.
LeDuc’s mind for business and heart for people has been her guide since becoming president in 2002. Through her passion, focus and humble beginnings LeDuc has cultivated significant partnerships with state and federal organizations and businesses to promote economic and workforce development. She expanded service options for all individuals with barriers to achieve employment success and through innovation and infrastructure growth has established Opportunities, Inc. as one of the largest employers in Jefferson County.
After all that she has accomplished, LeDuc continues to look to the future of the organization and the needs of the community with unyielding determination. When asked why she does it, LeDuc will kindly respond, “It’s all about the people.”
Opportunities, Inc. President/CEO, Barb LeDuc, celebrates 30 years of service with the agency. LeDuc pictured with program participants Robert and Betsy Feuling holding certificate.