Pre-Conference Sessions

Saturday, March 25, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm

Opening Plenary (9:00 am - 9:25 am)

Speaker: Ron Painter, President and CEO, National Association of Workforce Boards, Washington, DC

The speaker for this session is well known for referring to WIOA as “the I&O". He does this deliberately, not in an attempt to be a trend setter, but in an effort to put the focus on innovation and opportunity. While the preconference sessions following this plenary delve into activities required for the legislation’s implementation, this session sets the stage by reminding us of the bigger picture and what we are trying to accomplish in the workforce development arena. This plenary is complimentary with attendance at any one of the preconference sessions.

So You Have a Regional Plan... Now What? (9:30 am - 2:30 pm)

Creating a regional plan is not just a WIOA requirement, it is the first step in developing a regional strategy for economic development. This session will explore what is needed to make a region successful, what metrics might be developed to measure success, and how to engage a volunteer board to convert a plan into impactful actions. Join us in a discussion about how to chart your own course for success and how workforce development helps or hinders the trajectory of that course.  What needs to change?  How do we change?

Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner, Economic Leadership LLC, Raleigh, NC
Stephen Baiter, Executive Director, Oakland Workforce Development Board, Oakland, CA
Beth Brinly, Vice President, Workforce Innovation, Maher & Maher, Neptune, NJ
Andrew Picard, Director of Programs, San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego, CA

Building a Board with Vision (9:30 am - 2:30 pm)

Your workforce board can really advance efforts in your region if it takes a visionary approach and focuses on policy. The professional staff should already be experts on how to operate programs. What is needed are board members that take the long view and help decide what those programs should be. They should also apply this vision to advocacy at the local, state, and national level, supporting policies that help advance workforce development. How do you make this happen? Who should you put on the board? How do you get your board talking about policy? How does this contribute to a successful program? How does this make your board a critical partner in the community conversations around these issues? How does this translate into advocacy? Join us and be part of the conversation.

Tom Kavanagh, Senior Consultant, Public Consulting Group, Elkhart, IN
Molly McMullan, Consultant, Public Consulting Group, Boston, MA
Nick Schultz, Executive Director, Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, Long Beach, CA
Reg Javier, Deputy Executive Officer, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, San Bernardino, CA

What’s TRENDING in Workforce and Labor Market Information? (9:30 am - 2:30 pm)

Come to this session to learn the truth about labor force concepts: what the data show and why, what the real unemployment rate is and what the rates of underutilization are, how the data are collected, and how  the data remain confidential and objective. Understand the difference between employed people and jobs. Learn about job losers, jobs leavers, and new and re-entrants to the labor force.

The session also will feature popular LMI products and services for workforce boards that you may not know about. Learn about different ways to measure jobs in demand, from using statistical methods to just asking businesses what they need. See how new methods to measure job separations will impact your state projections. Learn how boards can use transferable skills for OJT contracts, use customized training for jobs in demand, use LMI to partner with economic development, and use LMI to survey for skills gaps.

We also will feature new data products from the Department of Labor (USDOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics and Employment and Training Administration (ETA), such as certifications/licenses and occupational requirements. See what’s new in O*Net like “Hot Chili-Pepper” certifications, industry competencies, and career videos. Hear about a new contingent worker-survey (gig economy) and plans for an employer-provided training survey.

This session will have several panels of presenters from USDOL and ETA, including workforce boards to give the regional perspective. The session will be highly interactive with audience participation throughout. Planned discussion questions will accompany each panel.

Rebecca Rust, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
Julie Hatch Maxfield, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Current Employment Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
Michael Wolf, Division Chief, Division of Occupational Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
Pam Frugoli, Supervisory Workforce Analyst, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
Mason Jackson, President and CEO, CareerSource Broward, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Bruce Ferguson, President and CEO, CareerSource Northeast Florida, Fleming Island, FL

Voice of the Sector: Engaging Business & Industry in High Performing Sector Strategies (9:30 am - 2:30 pm)

Under WIOA, workforce development boards (WDBs) proactively shift from employer partnerships to sector strategies in collaboration with education and community partners. This requires the voice of the sector to validate and inform WDBs on how to effectively address skills gaps. In this peer-to-peer facilitated session, participants assess what role they are prepared to execute in regional sector initiatives as well as learn the fundamental processes to recruit and engage businesses to validate the competencies and skills required within the sector’s workforce. Participants also will be introduced to cross vertical sector models that incorporate education, WDBs, and other partner organizations.

Christine Bosworth, Ed.D, Co-founder/CEO , Business U, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Celina Shands, Co-founder, Business U, Inc., San Diego, CA
Jeff Whitehead, Executive Director, Eastern Kentucky CEP, Inc.
Elizabeth Sobel Blum, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank, Dallas, TX
Courtney DeOreo, Director, RITE, Elyria, OH

“The Forum is a tremendous value for businesses and business organizations as it provides information, ideas, and resources that enhance employers' ability to attract, retain, and train a competitive workforce.”

~ Laurie Moran, President & CEO, Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, VA