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The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, or “NAWDP,” is organized as a 501(c)(6) association dedicated to:

  • supporting the career development of individuals whose work focuses on achieving the employment objectives of job seekers and local businesses; 
  • setting the standards of excellence against which workforce development professionals are measured; and
  • recognizing individual accomplishments and leadership that help advance the industry as a whole.

Additionally, NAWDP works to inform, improve and support the workforce development field through advocacy, partnerships and project work.

Who We Are

Workforce Development Professionals serve job seekers and employers. They provide training and career assistance to help job seekers identify and secure employment. They serve local employers by matching skilled applicants with the human capital needs of the employer, provide outplacement services during layoffs, and facilitate onsite training.

Workforce development professionals can be found in many different types of organizations, and they serve in many roles, from case management and WIOA implementation, to program design, policy management and strategic partnerships.

NAWDP members are employed by Workforce Investment Boards, America’s Job Centers (One Stop Centers), community and career colleges, military bases, youth employment programs, faith and community-based organizations and corporations. Whether they have decades of experience or are just starting their career, workforce development professionals are dedicated to helping people acquire skills and find employment, and to connecting businesses in their communities with a qualified pool of job applicants.

For job seekers: Workforce development professionals help individuals address factors that are impacting their ability to enter or stay in the workforce, such as skills gaps, low educational attainment or changing employer needs due to increasing automation or trade displacement. In addition, workforce development professionals often are on the front lines of helping job seekers overcome other non-skill related barriers to employment, such as addiction, incarceration, or economic security concerns related to child care, transportation, and housing. With the support and assistance of a workforce development professional, job seekers improve their ability to successfully connect their skills and abilities with the job opportunities available in their communities, and to get onto a career pathway.

For businesses: The ability to tap into a qualified talent pool is critical to the success of most businesses. Yet many business leaders have identified a growing shortage of skilled labor, paired with a significant skills gap, as central to the challenge to filling open positions. Workforce development professionals offer a critical conduit for these businesses, by understanding the skill requirements and connecting individuals with the education, training and support resources that will result in a growing pool of qualified applicants and improved retention rates for new hires.

Why it Matters

In November 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a total of 12.8 million individuals who are either unemployed, under-employed or marginally attached to the labor market. Meanwhile, key industries have been reporting a shortage of qualified applicants for a wide range of jobs.

In a member survey, the Business Roundtable found 94% of CEOs report skills gaps are problematic for their companies, and that these gaps affect all skill levels, from entry level to the highly technical.

These statistics represent lost economic opportunity for individuals and their families through lost wages; for businesses due to reduced productivity; and for communities, and the nation as a whole, due to lost spending and tax revenue.