KRA and CWA: A Meeting of the Minds

Two weeks ago, we reported that on August 1, 2012, Don Scott, KRA Senior Vice President for Workforce Operations, was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the California Workforce Association (CWA)* to represent the operators of the State’s One-Stop Career Center Program.  Scott’s appointment was directly related to his experience in this arena, as KRA operates several One-Stops across the country, including four centers in the San Diego Metro area directed by Maxine Suka, KRA Program Manager.

During September 4 – 6, 2012, Suka and Scott, who is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, attended the CWA’s annual Meeting of the Minds Workforce Policy and Leadership Conference, the theme of which, formulating a “Collective Impact Framework” for California workforce development systems, stressed that a common agenda among stakeholders is the first and most important step in making the Framework functional.  

According to Scott, “As usual, the CWA has put forth a powerful venue for learning, networking, and sharing with the State’s foremost public and private workforce development professionals.  From the daily Plenaries to the Success Templates and Training and Sharing sessions, every opportunity has given us fresh ideas for strategic program enhancements, not just for KRA’s One-Stops across the country, but for all the Career Centers in the State that I proudly represent.  Also, I appreciate the additional face time with industry leaders such as Tim Rainey [Executive Director of the California WIB], Cindy Perry, the Director of Special Projects for KRA’s client, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, and, of course, Sandy Harmsen [CWA Chair].”

Suka added, “I definitely echo Mr. Scott’s comments, and would like to add that the Professional Edge Workshop Series especially resonated with me as it relates to our Displaced Worker customers, who many times have more extensive work histories and higher-level skill sets.  The workshop was highly interactive and focused on regional strategies to put displaced jobseekers back to work. The information on creating collaborative relationships with regional WIBs, engaging employers to use One Stop services, and effectively using the media has renewed my perspective in this area.”

Scott and Suka enjoy CWA Affiliate Gold Membership status, which enables them to stay informed on the latest industry strategies and trends through CWA Update with special State and Federal announcements and reports, and issue briefs from CWA partners, and CWA Legislative Update with State and Federal legislative initiatives and activities and real-time alerts on issues impacting the workforce development system. 

*CWA is a non-profit, collaborative membership-based organization dedicated to advancing workforce excellence, is responsible for developing public-policy strategies that build local capacity to address critical workforce issues across the State, and represents Workforce Investment Boards responsible for developing locally-based workforce strategies and solutions through a network of One-Stops and their partners. CWA membership is reflective of its local partnerships and collaborations with educational institutions, economic development professionals, chambers of commerce and other business associations, as well as local non-profit, government, and community-based stakeholders.  According to the CWA website, “We have our pulse on the state of California’s workforce, create statewide partnerships to address critical workforce issues, and build the capacity of our members to excel at the local level in designing high impact workforce strategies.”