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Maryland State Representative Nominee Walter Simmons
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Nominee Bio-
Walter has been a workforce development professional for over 10 years. Walter began his career during the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and worked his way up the career ladder from Administrative Assistant to Career Consultant, Business Consultant, Center Manager, and his current role as a Local Workforce Development Board Director and President of Employ Prince George’s. Walter currently manages over 75 staff and a workforce system that serves over 35,000 job seekers and businesses. 

What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
The workforce development profession needs to transition to a discipline aligned with Talent Driven Economic Development. We need to prepare workforce professionals and programming to be conduits of Talent Driven Economic Development Strategies. Second, the professions need to embrace technology to increase access and program effectiveness to best meet the evolving needs of businesses and job seekers. Lastly, we need to be a profession that retains and cultivates young professionals.

 

Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
I have a specific interest in the development of professionals within the Workforce Development Industry. The Workforce Development Industry needs clearly defined programmatic, administrative and executive career pathways within the profession. We are losing young professionals because they don’t see a future in our industry. For the long-term growth of the Workforce Development Industry, we need to attract, retain and cultivate our future leaders.

 

Why do you want to serve on the Board?
After 10 years in workforce development, becoming a Local Workforce Development Board Director, becoming a CEO, and speaking at multiple NAWDP conferences, I believe have the experience to help grow the profession and want to take active role in the signature entity representing workforce professionals. Second, as a millennial, I believe I represent a population of workforce development professionals that doesn't have adequate representation or a voice in national workforce conversations.

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
The 
greatest challenge of the workforce development profession is the lack of universal career pathways (programmatic, administrative, and executive) for people to align themselves with, receive training, and grow within the profession. I believe NAWDP is positioned to develop career pathways utilizing the CWDP certification as the core curricula, integrate additional topic specific training, and integrate work based learning. Peer mentors can be included to share best practices and network.