Spokane, WA – The Spokane Workforce Council (SWC) has been presented with the 2020 WIOA Trailblazer Award by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). The WIOA Trailblazer Award recognizes a local workforce development board that has been a leader in adopting the system changes envisioned in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) and expanding its ability to develop comprehensive workforce solutions for its community. NAWB represents approximately 550 Workforce Development Boards nationwide and recognizes only one local council for achieving excellence in the workforce development industry each year.
The award was presented to Nadine Woodward, Mayor, City of Spokane, and Dan Evans, SWC Board Chair, at The Forum 2020, NAWB’s annual conference delivered virtually for the first time. The Forum is the premier event for leaders in workforce development to gather and gain insights into the current state of our nation’s workforce system and consider the goals and policy framework affecting the future of human capital development.
“We are very proud our accomplishments to bring together diverse partners and deliver integrated workforce services to businesses, job seekers, and young people all across our community” said Dan Evans, board chair and Senior Vice President/Senior Client Manager of Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This award means a lot to us as our board has been laser-focused on creating an innovative workforce system that effectively responds to the needs of our customers.”
In accepting the award on behalf of the Council, Mayor Nadine Woodward said, “We are very fortunate to have a board of committed leaders from all sectors of our City – business, government, education, labor, and nonprofits, who recognize that the workforce system is a cornerstone of our community. This Board is doing the important work of helping businesses find the talent they need to grow and help individuals and families succeed and continue to make our community a great place to live.”
The passage of WIOA provided the workforce system with the opportunity to make changes to significantly improve its ability to meet the needs of residents and employers through partnerships with government agencies, business and industry, economic development, training and education, and community-based organizations. The SWC board and system partners embraced the opportunities in the new law, and in 2016 began a three-year re-design process of WorkSource Spokane, using the concepts of human-centered design and integrated service delivery. The newly designed center provides equitable access to services for all members of the community and enabled our area to implement virtual services quickly during the COVID-19 crisis. Spokane’s unique service delivery model has caught the attention of many Workforce Development Boards around the country. Leaders from various regions have requested guidance from the SWC in implementing integrated service delivery in their areas.
“Our staff, service providers, and community partners have truly been Trailblazers in developing innovative approaches to meeting our business and job seeking customers’ needs,” said SWC CEO Mark Mattke. “As a result, we are better positioned to meet the challenges posed by COVID and help our community recover from this crisis.”
Learn more about the SWC and our integrated service delivery model: