PA Workforce Development Association (PWDA) serves as the voice of the Pennsylvania workforce development system and a clearinghouse for workforce development information statewide. PWDA develops and provides professional training to local workforce development boards (WDBs), while continuing proactive advocacy efforts on behalf of the workforce development system.
At the federal level, PWDA …
- Works with federal policymakers to shape legislation that reinvests in a dynamic and efficient workforce system
- Educates policymakers about the high-performing Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) in Pennsylvania and how to continue to invest in our system
At the state level, PWDA …
- Collaborates with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to bolster industry partnerships and improve functional alignment at local PA CareerLink® locations
- Advocates for smarter performance and accountability standards that reflect the excellent workforce development efforts at the local level
- Partners with advocacy groups in education, youth, economic development, and vocational rehabilitation
Check out our Current Issues page to learn more about the work PWDA is engaged in to advocate for a stronger workforce system in Pennsylvania.
History of PWDA
In January 2013, Pennsylvania Partners and PA Association of Workforce Investment Boards merged to become the PA Workforce Development Association or PWDA. The new association was developed to represent all stakeholders in Pennsylvania’s workforce development system.
Pennsylvania Partners was well known for organizing the first statewide workforce development conference in 1984, which grew to become one of the pre-eminent workforce conferences in the United States. The Annual Employment, Training & Education Conference continues each May under PWDA as the premier training conference for all partners and stakeholders in the workforce development system.
PWDA conducts a second conference in October, the PA WDB Symposium, a yearly networking and educational conference held in State College, Pennsylvania. This conference brings together professionals from across the state to discuss the implications of state and federal workforce policy, and to share groundbreaking research and innovative strategies. In recent years, a focus of the Symposium has been the strengthening of Pennsylvania’s Industry Partnership program, with a specialized Industry Partnership Roundtable being held as a pre-conference event.
The PWDA board of directors has 25 voting members and 25 alternate members. Twenty-two voting seats are designated by the chair of each of the state’s 22 local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs). Three additional representatives are elected by the PWDA Operations Council. The Executive Committee is comprised of the chair, two vice chairs, secretary/treasurer, finance committee chair, the immediate past chairs, and two regional representatives.
PWDA has two councils that report to its board: Policy and Oversight, comprised of WDB executive directors; and Operations, comprised of senior staff responsible for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program operations. Each council elects its own co-chairs and makes recommendations to the PWDA Board for actions to ultimately improve the delivery of workforce services. Technical workgroups represent communities of practice and are coordinated through each council.