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Region 7 Nominee Mary Ann Lawrence
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Nominee Bio-
I have been in the workforce industry for more than 40 years working at the local, state, regional, and federal levels. I provide: classroom training on 200 topics; web-based training with more than 400 seminars; executive coaching; consultation; facilitation; board development, monitoring. You name it, I work with it regarding anything workforce development. I serve on the NAWDP Board now representing Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska and am the Chair of the Board of Directors.

What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
My vision is sustainability and an increase in funding to serve individuals looking for work and individuals needing to build their skills and knowledge to achieve higher paying positions. A perfect workforce system provides partner agency coordination to leverage resources and provide a comprehensive menu of services to job seekers, youth, and business customers. The workforce system will balance helping people with achieving successful outcomes.

Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
I believe we make a difference one life at a time. Workforce professionals CHANGE LIVES for a living! My passion is building the capacity of the individuals who are workforce professionals so he or she can perform their jobs more effectively and feel good about what they do for a living.

Why do you want to serve on the Board?
I currently serve on the Board representing Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. I am seeking another term because I feel the work I have helped lead as Chair of the Board the last two years is not yet complete. We have accomplished an incredible amount in the last year including moving our NAWDP Corporate Office to Missouri and focusing on member value and benefit. We have reconfigured staffing to provide enhanced member services and are enhancing certification and webinars.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
The workforce system continues to fight for funding across all of our partner agencies. Our biggest challenge is to communicate our effectiveness to congressional decision-makers in order to have support to sustain and enhance our efforts. We serve a diverse set of target populations from the low wage/low skill individuals who need a lot of help to professional dislocated workers who need support to make a change. The more skilled our own system workers are, the more effective we will be!