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Award Winners Recognized at Workforce Development Conference

This year the International Association of Workforce Professionals embarked on a new era in our history, making major changes to our awards program.  Linda DeMore, Sharon Mike and Jenny Yarian-Scalpelli worked tirelessly to create a new awards program that streamlines the number of awards and the criteria. Change is difficult, but we are excited by the opportunities to grow and recognize outstanding achievements. There are great new things happening in the workforce arena, and we want to share these ideas to make each of our systems work better.

Innovation in Workforce Systems Award

The Innovation in Workforce Systems Award recognizes individuals, groups, and organizations for extraordinary innovation that directly or indirectly impacts systems, customers, or professionals within the workforce system. Contributions can take many forms and may include a significant role in the implementation and effective delivery of a highly innovative idea or system. This could include, but is not limited to, implementation of a new system or process, developing an innovative program, creating a new way of delivering services, developing new technology or a new way to use technology, creating new partnerships, developing and/or implementing new policy, or going far above and beyond the regular duties of the job.

Innovation in Workforce System – Individual
Meredith Howell, Ph.D.

Meredith Howell is a well-respected grant writer, trainer and facilitator in organizational and workforce development.  Meredith worked with Willamette Workforce Partnership on the Re-Thinking Job search project which focuses on instilling the confidence and positive motivation needed for successful job search for the recently unemployed.  She has piloted the cognitive behavioral soft skills programs for two years.  Rethinking Job Search has served over 1,000 job seekers.  Of those, 55% found work and 80% of those that found work, retained their positions for the six months that data is tracked.

Innovation in Workforce System – Group
Washington Employment Security Department – LEAN

Washington LEAN created a “Voice for Change” team to be the ambassadors – early adopters of LEAN to help build a Lean culture in the Work Source offices around the state.  They have daily management boards to visibly provide workplace performance indicators.  Workgroups “huddle” around them for problem solving discussions: How do we close the gap between where we are and where we want to be?

Innovation in Workforce System – Organization
Washington Employment Security Department

The Washington State Employment Security Department created a Lean Improvement Inventory e-Form.  They focused on everyone making improvements every day and no improvement was too small.  They captured all improvements on the e-form, which was featured prominently on their intranet website.  The electronic form increased submissions from 1,065 in 2016 to 1,927 in 2017.  The cost savings resulted in savings of $516,952 and saved productivity of 106,689 hours.

Honorable Mention – Innovation in Workforce Systems Award Group
Career Connect, Washington Chapter

Career Connect’s goal was to make apprenticeship and internship a routine part of high school for all students.  They created a permanent career connected learning system to expand youth registered apprenticeship, comprehensive internship, and career connected learning experiences in high demand fields and STEM.   They created local Career Connect teams to work to connect students to employers and high-quality job training.

Honorable Mention – Innovation in Workforce Systems Award Organization
Willamette Workforce Partnership-Oregon

Willamette Workforce Partnership-Oregon implemented Rethinking Job Search program that focuses on building participant resilience through teaching cognitive behavioral techniques and tools.  The aim of the program is to become work-ready through increasing job seeking confidence, motivation and accountability.  To date, over 1,000 participants have been served.

Outstanding Service to IAWP

The Outstanding Service to IAWP Award recognizes the outstanding work of members in service to the International Association of Workforce Professionals.

This could include, but is not limited to, developing programs to increase membership or meet other IAWP objectives, increasing awareness of IAWP in the community, creating new and different programs for members, developing innovative partnerships, giving back to their community and the association, or going far above and beyond their role and duties in the association.

Workforce Professional
Stephanie Stevens, Oregon Chapter and Oregon Employment Department

Stephanie Stevens has been an instrumental contributor to the success of IAWP for many years.  Stephanie has been an IAWP member since 1998.  For the 2017 Workforce Development Conference, Stephanie was the editor for the “Flash” newsletter. She is an International Board as membership chair and a Foundation Board Member.  She is also Secretary/Treasurer for the Oregon Chapter.

Senior Workforce Professional
Rafael Colon, Washington State Chapter

Rafael Colon returned to work in a project position at the Employment Security Department in September 2017, after learning about the position opening through a fellow IAWP member.  Rafael knows the value of IAWP and championed the organization at every opportunity, including scheduling one-on-one meetings with senior leaders; leading a leadership sponsorship program by sponsoring a new member by paying their dues; coaching local IAWP leadership on fresh tactics to attract new members and increase participation; and using his position in the agency to encourage leadership to support the staff in IAWP.

Chapter Excellence Award

The Chapter Excellence Award recognizes the outstanding work of chapters in service to their members and the International Association of Workforce Professionals. This could include, but it not limited to, chapters developing and implementing innovative or creative ways to retain and increase membership, creating different and unique professional development opportunities for members, marketing the chapter and association using new or different tools and technology, communicating with members in different and unique ways, developing community amongst members, working to support their local communities and workforce systems, or developing creative partnerships.

The following chapters were recognized for chapter excellence.

  • Oregon Chapter – community involvement and membership.
  • Washington State Chapter – Marketing/communication and professional development.

Public Policy Award

The IAWP Public Policy award recognizes an individual who performed outstanding public service in the support of workforce development programs and/or personnel. Potential nominees include state or federal elected officials, appointed federal administrators, workforce agency directors, etc. The Public Policy Award affords national recognition for outstanding public service occurring during the calendar year proceeding the judging year.  Prior winners of this prestigious award include the first U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and Presidents Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy.

Graham Slater
Deputy Director Oregon Employment Department

Graham Slater is the Deputy Director for the Oregon Employment Department.  Mr. Slater is a current member of IAWP and has been with the agency for 31 years, mostly in the Workforce and Economic Research Division.  Over the years in his research role, Mr. Slater has done numerous speaker presentations at IAWP functions on the state, district and international level.  When he moved into the Interim Chief Administrative Officer role he was able to expand his commitment to increasing communication with all areas of staff by expanding on his weekly Friday email chat titled “Around Here”.  Once he was promoted to the Deputy Director for the Oregon Employment Department, that commitment to communication was expanded to include direct discussions with the IAWP Executive Director and he has shared those conversations with the OED Agency Director.  He also plans to visit about IAWP with division directors at Unemployment Insurance and Employment Services. Mr. Slater also wants to establish regular phone conversations between the agency and IAWP. He also still sends out his Friday email updates, now titled “Together,” to all staff.

Membership Awards

IAWP awards Chapters and members for outstanding dedication to growth in membership. Chapters who increase membership by 25% or more in the contest year are eligible for recognition, as are individual members who sign-up 20 or more new members.

Individual Membership Award

Stephanie Stevens
Oregon Chapter and Oregon Employment Department

Stephanie recruited 21 new members in 2017.

We would once again like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our 2017 award recipients for their dedication and work in support of the workforce community.  Your work changes the world and the supports the many clients we as workforce professionals, work to serve.

We encourage you be on the lookout for recognition-worthy individuals, group and organizations within your local workforce community.

We would also like to invite you to join us in beautiful San Antonio, Texas for the 2019 Workforce Development Conference, June 16-19, 2019.  Additional information will be available soon on the IAWP website.

Photo Credit – BJ Knutson