title of fellowship for policy and advocacy

The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) Policy & Advocacy Fellowship Program (PAFP) raises the collective capacity of its members and ecosystem stakeholders to engage in workforce development advocacy at the federal, state, county, and local level. Selected Fellows receive intensive training on the federal and state legislative, administrative, and appropriations processes, and tangible experiences in developing and utilizing advocacy strategies. Participation is by application only; entrance is in PWDA’s sole discretion with judging criteria set forth in writing and posted on the PWDA website. 

The PAFP launches each year at the PWDA Symposium in the Fall and concludes at the PWDA Annual Conference in May. Fellows are expected to attend each session of the PAFP and complete all projects and assignments. Fellows may be removed from the program if they have unexcused absences or fail to complete program projects and assignments.

The PWDA Policy & Advocacy Fellowship brought together a diverse group of workforce development professionals & thinkers to learn together and build their policy advocacy skills. Not only did we learn from the great team at PWDA and their guest speakers, but we also got to learn from each other. I really appreciated this opportunity and will use the knowledge I’ve gained to be a stronger advocate for the workforce development system moving forward.

Participation requirements & expectations

Fellows Can Expect:

  • An intensive and informative experience
  • To have fun and learn new things
  • To make new friends and professional colleagues throughout the workforce eco-system
  • To be provided and accept coaching and guidance from PWDA staff and PAFP faculty and guests
  • To engage extensively in experimental learning with research and writing assignments, including group projects on real world issues
  • To meet with elected officials, legislators, staffers, policymakers, and others

PWDA gave us all a unique opportunity to step outside of our comfort zones, work with diverse teams in a short time period & explore novel policy solutions to real problems experienced by Pennsylvanians.

Fellows Will Learn:

  • PA political, legislative, and budgetary processes
  • The Who’s Who of PA state legislators, committees, and leadership
  • Engagement & Advocacy – What Works – What Doesn’t – How to Apply It
  • Landscape of PA politics
  • Network with peers across PA

Who should apply/application judging criteria:

  • Three or more years of experience in workforce development
  • Individuals whose position influence policy in organization
  • Applicants do not have to be chief staff executive of their organizations
  • People who are ready to learn and to sharpen skills
  • Demonstrate commitment to 100% attendance in Seminars and completion of group & individual assignments 
  • Those with a passion to build and improve the workforce system

2023-2024 Schedule (*subject to change with advance notification from PWDA)

November 1-2, 2023

Seminar # 1

In-Person at PWDA Office

January 10-11, 2024

Seminar # 2

TBD, Capitol Complex Harrisburg

February 8, 2024

Fellowship Graduation

TBD, Capitol Complex, Harrisburg

Fellows will be required to work independently and in small group to develop and complete assignments, reading materials, conduct legislative outreach, and more. This work will be conducted throughout the Fellowship, including before, during, and after the Seminars.

Fellows (or their organizations) are expected to pay their own expenses and manage their own travel accommodations. 

Meet the Fellows