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Indiana State Representative Nominee Stephanie James
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Nominee Bio-
Stephanie holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and a Master in Public Affairs from Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI). In 2011 NAWDP conferred upon her the designation of Certified Workforce Development Professional. Stephanie has spent her entire career working with a variety of both public and privately funded workforce development programs and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Success Center in Indianapolis. 

What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
My vision for our profession would be two-fold: 1) to meet the demands of employers by training and preparing a skilled and qualified workforce, and to meet the complex and ever-changing needs of today’s workforce population though flexible and innovative programming, advocacy, and resource sharing, and 2) To motivate and recruit talented professionals, and strengthen the professional development of workforce development staff through training, networking and development of career pathways.

 

Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
Growing up, I watched my parents struggle in low-wage jobs with no advancement opportunities. Our government systems are difficult for people to navigate, and often create more obstacles. Advocacy is necessary for the marginalized, often over-looked members of our society. Additionally, I am passionate about mentoring for our people in our profession. With no explicit career pathways for the profession, I believe mentoring is critical to strengthening future generations of leaders.

 

Why do you want to serve on the Board?
I would be honored to serve on the NAWDP board because I believe in their mission. I believe my combination of education and experience has given me an unique perspective on many of the challenges facing our profession today. My background includes experience with public and private workforce development programs, direct service, program management and executive leadership. I welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn from and network with other professionals from around the country.

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
One of the biggest challenges facing our profession today is navigating our new reality in response to the pandemic. As unemployment rates continue to soar, NAWDP can serve as a critical resource to members to help them navigate federal programs, state and local unemployment systems and additional resources. How we approach our work may look differently, and NAWDP can serve as a central hub for members to exchange ideas, share best practices and help put the country back to work!