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City’s Mary Ann Rojas abruptly retires

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The city of Springfield on Friday announced the sudden retirement of Director of Workforce Development Mary Ann Rojas.

City officials in a news release cited Rojas’ plans to move back to her native Texas to spend more time with her two daughters and granddaughter, according to a news release.

“I appreciate Mary Ann’s service to the city of Springfield as an organization and to our community these past six years. We wish her the best as she returns to Texas to be closer to family,” City Manager Jason Gage said in the release.

Springfield Workforce Development Assistant Director Sally Payne has been named interim director of the department, said city spokeswoman Cora Scott. She did not provide more details — including the process to find Rojas’ permanent successor — by deadline. Rojas, who also could not be reached for comment this morning, was not quoted in the release.

A member of Springfield Business Journal 2019 class of Most Influential Women, Rojas became the city’s director of Workforce Development in 2013. She moved to Springfield from Temple, Texas, where she most recently had worked as a consultant, grant writer and project manager, according to SBJ archives. When she was hired by the city, she had 17 years of workforce, business and economic development experience, including as director of workforce solutions of the Coastal Bend in Corpus Christi, Texas.

At the city’s Workforce Development department, Rojas helped lead the Missouri Job Center. She’s been credited with leading the city’s Change 1000 initiative and the MOmentum State of the Workforce survey.

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