The Spotlight! is shining brightly on six employees of KRA at CTWorks* who recently achieved the coveted status of Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP), a credential that recognizes the experience, expertise, and training of professionals who, directly or indirectly, facilitate the workforce development process by which individuals identify, train for, attain, and maintain employment and self-sufficiency.
These dedicated KRA staff members are: Althea Forbes-Francis, JFES Career Agent; Anthony Bernardo, Customer Service Expeditor; and Jeannine Batiste, Online Facilitator (New Britain office); Mark Allen, Career Agent/Ex-Offender Retention Specialist, and Jennifer Fields, WIA Career Agent (Hartford office); and Wendy Garcia, Unit Supervisor (Enfield office.)
The CWDP credential is administered and endorsed by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP), whose website states, “The CWDP is a nationally recognized credential for individuals who have demonstrated they have what it takes to provide the highest quality services to our nation’s job seekers and businesses.” In congratulating the KRA employees at CTWorks, Bridget Brown, NAWDP Executive Director, stated ”These staff members exemplify the degree of professionalism and commitment to excellence that America needs if it is to continue to enjoy a world-class workforce.”
The NAWDP website also states , “A recent survey found that 79 percent of those making hiring, promotion, salary, or bonus decisions indicated that they place a value on an individual possessing the CWDP credential when they make those decisions. Reasons include: it demonstrates a depth of understanding of the profession and the work involved, it shows their commitment to the profession, and it shows their commitment to ongoing professional development and education.” Beth McCabe, CWDP, KRA Core Services & Staff Development Coordinator at CTWorks –and winner of the 2013 NAWDP Professional Development Award–commented, “We encourage all our staff to further their education and training so that KRA and CTWorks can continue to provide quality workforce development services to the citizens of Connecticut’s North Central Region.”
When asked if the CWDP credentialing process included exams, Kimberly Staley, KRA Program Manager at CTWorks–and member of the NAWDP Board of Directors–responded, “Currently, there are no exams. The foundation of the credentialing process is education and experience, based on one’s knowledge, skills, and abilities [KSA] in workforce development services. A CWDP candidate must demonstrate their KSAs in each of 10 Competency Areas through a comprehensive application process.”
These areas include the following:
- History and Structure of the Workforce Development System
- Career Development Process
- Labor Market Information
- Customer Service
- Program Management
- Collaboration and Problem Solving
- Business and Employer Knowledge
Knowlton R. Atterbeary, KRA President & CEO, offered best wishes on behalf of the company, stating, “All of KRA is proud of our newest credentialed CDWPs, and congratulates them on their commitment, dedication, and devotion to the workforce development profession, and to our mission of ‘developing workers and strengthening communities’ for our valued clients and customers.”
*CTWorks is a 37-town, multi-site operation, funded by Capital Workforce Partners, which includes a One-Stop Program serving WIA-eligible Adult/Dislocated Workers, and a TANF-funded Jobs First Employment Services Program. Each of four One-Stop offices includes a walk-in Online Learning Center, with computers equipped with job-search applications, assessment tools, skills-training software, and self-paced job-readiness software targeted for specific populations. Special KRA @ CTWorks programs include an employment-retention program for ex-offenders who are currently employed, and a National Emergency Grant (NEG) Program for WIA Dislocated Workers separated from employment due to downsizing, reorganization, or closure at specific companies in the Region. NEG enhances KRA @ CTWorks ability to tailor career counseling, training, 21st century job-search strategies, resume preparation, and job development services for these select customers.