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Jim Nelson is Vice President Education & Workforce Policy and Executive Director, IMA Education Foundation for the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.  He  is responsible for the IMA Education Foundation and the association’s education policy initiatives.  In addition, Jim is responsible for Special Projects for the IMA and has coordinated activities for the Small Manufacturers Council and the Young Leaders Council. Previous to joining the IMA in 2003, Jim served as a Legislative Liaison in various Illinois administrative agencies serving three Illinois governors over a 25 year span.  In that role, he helped shape and coordinate policy for Illinois’ Corrections, Riverboat Gambling and Employment Security agencies.  Jim is a currently licensed private pilot and recently retired as a NCAA and Illinois High School soccer official.