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Illinois State Representative Nominee Cynthia Thomas-Grant
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Nominee Bio-
I am the Director of Workforce Development for the Illinois Migrant Council, managing the statewide WIOA Title ID National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) for migrant and seasonal farmworkers wanting career and training services; where I have been employed for 40 years; I represent NFJP on statewide committees; Statewide WIOA Interagency Team and Service Integration Policy Work Group, and I oversee NFJP statewide MOU negotiations. I have been a member of NAWDP and a CWDP since 2007. 

What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
My vision is that there continues to be coordination and collaboration between all partners and stakeholders of the workforce system to provide services to all that seek them. Service integration is an important part of serving all customers as the workforce profession evolves. The continued advance of the profession to recognized as the profession it is. Certification training that is nationally recognized by all for the professional to maintain/upgrade their skills.

 

Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
The area that I am most interested in is professional development of the workforce professional; ensuring that all having access to training to support their current positions and help them develop the skills they need to become leaders in their fields. Making sure that the workforce professional is provided with the most up to date innovative training in all divisions of workforce. Continued promotion of training and certifications is one of the main focuses of NAWDP and their CWDP.

 

Why do you want to serve on the Board?
Serving on the board would allow me the opportunity to ensure that the workforce professionals that work with the special populations and under served have a voice and representation. To bring new ideas and help expand the initiatives of NAWDP and its brand. Increase NAWDP’s visibility in the state’s workforce system and with employers, letting everyone know the benefit of membership and on becoming a Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP).

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
Making sure all workforce professionals have the ability to continue working providing the services needed by the jobseeker, employer and participants in the ever changing situations that they may find themselves; such as the pandemic that we are currently facing. Continued development of alternative ways to gather and provide and receive staff development to continue supporting the workforce professional during these situations.