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Region 5 Nominee Crystal Odom McKinney
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Nominee Bio-
I am a community champion and experienced workforce solutions professional who partners with local/national nonprofits, community collaboratives/businesses to enhance through training and employment of job seekers. I have over 20 years in non-profit leadership and expertise in working with special populations (youth, veterans, disability, older adults). Since 2008 I've served on the board representing the state of IL and nationally as an advocate for workforce programs and national employers.

What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
My vision for NAWDP and the workforce development profession includes training, advocacy and furthering existing community partnerships/funding which significantly benefits our members and professionals as well as those we serve. Align the workforce development profession with other credentialed careers to better compete with higher salaried jobs. Connect globally with professionals to get a understanding of various workforce systems and program models.

Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
With over 20 years in non-profit management and expertise in working with special populations (youth, veterans, disability, older adults), Crystal knows what truly drives community collaborations. How well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding to those stakeholders is vital in making the match!

Why do you want to serve on the Board?
I am a current board member representing the state of IL since 2008. Since joining the board, I have served on the Executive committee (2 terms); membership committee, nominations and elections committee, certifications committee, marketing and communications committee, finance committee and new and emerging professionals inaugural committee. My expertise on the board as well as collaborations within region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) will provide the diverse perspective that we much need today.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
One of the biggest challenges today is funding for the programs we provide nationally. Without funding, we would not be here and our customers/clients/stakeholders would be without the needed tools to become self-sufficient. NAWDP addresses funding issues through the legislative communications to keep us informed and involved. Another challenge is with our visibility and recognition as skilled and experienced professionals; the CWDP allows for increased exposure and recognition in the field.


Click here to view my campaign video.