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PA Workforce Development Association Launches Policy & Advocacy Fellowship Program

Inaugural fellows begin intensive program in government relations best practices

Camp Hill, Pa. –  The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) today inaugurated its Policy and Advocacy Fellowship Program, welcoming 16 participants from public, private, and nonprofit workforce organizations throughout the Commonwealth to its virtual certificate course.

PWDA Executive Director Carrie Anne Amann greeted the workforce professionals, all chosen from through an application-only process, in an online session this morning.

“This new program has two goals,” Amann said. “To raise the collective capacity of our workforce system members to engage in workforce development advocacy at the federal, state, county, and local level and to provide selected fellows with intensive training on the federal and state legislative, administrative, and appropriations processes, as well as tangible experiences in developing and utilizing advocacy strategies.”

The members of the PWDA Policy and Advocacy Institute Fellows Inaugural Class are:

  • Angelic Hardy, Lock Haven University 
  • Anna Ramos, Lancaster County Workforce Development Board 
  • Dillon Moore, Partner4Work 
  • Gwen Ross, PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development 
  • Hillary Lyle, SCPA Works 
  • Jamece Joyner, PhilaWorks 
  • Jennifer Diaz, Goodwill Keystone Area 
  • Judd R. Pittman, PA Dept. of Education 
  • Kim Bell, Rosedale Technical College
  • Lauren Holubec, Harrisburg University 
  • Markese Long, Partner4Work 
  • Marlyn Barbosa, Tec Centro SACA
  • Mary Turner, Reading Area Community College 
  • Pam Streich, Workforce Solutions for North Central PA 
  • Shuana Davis, PA Dept. of Labor & Industry 
  • Tara Dwyer, PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning

The program is virtual this year out of an abundance of caution about the COVID-19 risks, Amann said. She hopes it will be in person in 2022.

The first order of business for the fellows today will be to meet the members of their small working groups, which will be assigned a collaborative public policy project. They will work on this project for the duration of the course, until their graduation on January 26. They will be recognized with certificates at a ceremony held during the 38th Annual PWDA Conference from May 4th through 6th.

Tomorrow, a panel of distinguished public policy experts will provide the fellows with advice on effective lobbying and messaging. The panelists are Kathy Manderino, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Distillers Guild and former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry; Doug Hill, former Executive Director, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania; and Bill Bova, a lobbyist with Long Nyquist & Associates.

“The workforce system plays a critical role in Pennsylvania – helping people find jobs or acquire new skills, supporting local employers and strengthening regional economies, and fighting poverty with the only base solid enough to anchor economic stability: a good job for everyone who needs one, “ Amann said. “In this program, the fellows can expect to have fun and learn, and at the same time become more effective advocates for the workforce system and the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who rely on it.”

For more information on the PWDA Policy and Advocacy Fellowship Program, please visit the PWDA website at https://www.pawork.org/

Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association represents the state’s 22 local workforce development boards, and through them hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians looking for living wage and community-strengthening jobs. PWDA members operate the state’s 60+ PA CareerLink® centers.

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PA Workforce Development Association