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About Us

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 state agencies to advance working partnerships with local workforce development boards
  • Advocates for smarter performance and accountability standards that reflect the excellent workforce development efforts at the local level
  • Partners with advocacy groups and service organizations in economic development, education, youth, human services, and vocational rehabilitation

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 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.

Board Members

The PWDA board of directors has 22 voting members and 22 alternate members, which are designated by the chair of each of the state’s 22 local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs).  The Executive Committee is comprised of the chair, vice chair, secretary/treasurer, and three elected regional representatives from the board.

PWDA has three councils that report to its board: Planning and Oversight, comprised of WDB executive directors; Operations, comprised of senior staff responsible for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program operations; and Policy, compromised of local policy makers. 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.

PA Workforce Development Association