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MVWIV Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment BoardOUR VISION
Employers and residents in the region have a
foundation from which they have the opportunity to
achieve sustained economic growth and prosperty.

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Rafael Abislaiman
Executive Director

Prior to joining the MVWIB, Rafael was at the International Institute of Greater Lawrence (IIGL), where he served as Executive Director for almost twenty years. IIGL received workforce training Contractor and Practitioner of the Year Awards under the Joint Training Partnership Act. It became a Community Technology Center and has a long-standing involvement in Adult Basic Education. That includes both classroom and distance-learning programs and employment training programs.

In the late 1980’s, Rafael worked with the Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Employment Board as Lawrence’s Gateway Cities Director. Until recently, he was emergency preparedness host agent for fourteen communities in north-eastern Massachusetts.

Before coming to Lawrence, Rafael served in the Active-duty U.S. Navy as a surface warfare Engineering and Educational Duty Division Officer and as a Navigation, Administrative and Legal Department Head. Later, in the U.S. Naval Reserves, he served as a Ship Intermediate Maintenance Department Head and as a Naval Control of Shipping Officer-in-Charge (OIC).

He was recalled to active duty immediately after 9-11 and served as Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command’s (SPAWAR) Pentagon Liaison in charge of rebuilding C4ISR (Command Control Communications Computers Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) at the Navy Pentagon and Site R Control/Operation Centers. 

He was commissioned Navy Captain in 2004 and again recalled to active duty in 2005 to serve as OIC of all SPAWAR C4ISR shore install processes worldwide. These included two new Middle East installations, two new installs in Europe and several in the Far East.

Rafael has two sons, Christopher and Jonathan, and now lives in Haverhill.