I currently serve as the Director of Mission Services for Goodwill of the Great Plains. During my more than ten years of experience in workforce development I have served as the WIA/WIOA Title I Director as well as overseen numerous grants related to dislocated workers and serving those with special needs that often need assistance with their Ticket to Work goals. I have a wonderful wife and two sons that help me keep my sanity which is very important in this field most days.
What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
The workforce profession is not one people seek out, it finds them. Even so, we are an extremely dedicated and caring group. To keep doing the work in the best possible way, we need to continue changing and helping our customers change too. Most of the jobs they have now, will not exist or will greatly change in the next several years. We need to be there to help with the changes that are coming in not only what the jobs there are, but also the skills they are going to need to succeed.
Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
I am particularly interested in working with those individuals with more unique and challenging barriers to entering or moving up in the workforce that we currently have. Everyone has a challenge to getting hired which may or may not be an immediate issue when applying for a position. There are some of the folks we work with that need more compassion and guidance on how to explain why they are a potential asset to a company and why they really need to consider hiring them.
Why do you want to serve on the Board?
During my tenure on the NAWDP board I have worked very had to represent all of the workforce professionals that serve day in and day out without recognition or notice. Since I am from a rural area I try to get the concerns of our more remote areas in mind when we work to provide training options and services. Travel is not always easy and set schedules for training are not always best. I want to continue working to make sure on-demand training and certifications are available to everyone.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
Technology continues to develop and evolve every day. Although many are able to keep up, there are many more who are less skilled and need more assistance that continue to fall further behind. Our profession needs to provide short-term, low or no cost trainings to help everyone learn how to work with computers and other technology. The most effective options are usually provided by agencies and organizations with little cost, if they have the staff necessary to provide the services.