During the pandemic, workforce professionals have made tremendous sacrifices to help those in need, working longer hours, changing jobs, learning new skills and much more. Clearly, millions upon millions are better off because of the services provided by workforce development professionals, and we at IAWP recognize and thank each of you for the tireless yet valuable work you performed during the pandemic. Countless changes were required because of COVID-19 and our community of workforce professionals really stepped up to the plate!
I would also like to thank IAWP’s leadership for their willingness to implement changes required to increase our virtual presence to allow us to continue to serve our members during the pandemic. Our in-person events were impacted significantly but our conference committee rose to the occasion and offered our first fully virtual conference, Workforce360.
Workforce360 not only facilitated significant increases in member attendance, but it also drew in large numbers of first-time attendees, many of whom were new to IAWP and IAWP’s annual conference. The successes recognized during Workforce360 showed us that virtual programming offers new pathways for IAWP to reach a broader audience of the workforce professionals we serve.
The conference committee is already working on a fall conference (in late October) to address post-pandemic employment issues, the future of work and other related issues. Just like before, affordable discounted rates will be available to members and organizations. Additional details will be announced in coming weeks.
IAWP also expanded its virtual educational programs, offering live webinars on personal and professional development issues. IAWP webinars offer continuing education credit for the Certified Workforce Professional program along with hours credited for completing the Workforce Professional Development Program. Once complete, webinars are added to the IAWP website. Access is free for IAWP members.
As we look ahead, we hope that the coming year will allow us to return to more in-person meetings and the opportunity to network with our friends and colleagues. Our local chapters whose local programs were impacted significantly are already working to reintroduce the meetings and events that allow us to gather and share ideas.
Again, I would like to thank you all for the valuable contributions you made during the past year and for attending today’s annual business meeting.
Before I close, I would like to thank IAWP’s 2020-2021 board of directors:
Linda DeMore, President
Amber Drake, President-Elect
Nancy Fink, Vice President
Stephanie Stevens, Secretary Treasurer
Denise Cary, Director at Large
Donna Glacken, Director at Large
Wally Roper, Director at Large, and
Rebekah Wilkes, Director at Large
Linda DeMore has done an incredible job leading IAWP during this unprecedented year. She has invested hundreds of hours building IAWP and we are a better and stronger organization…one that is better prepared for the changes that lay ahead, because of Linda’s work and commitment. Thank you, Linda. It has been a tremendous honor and pleasure.
I would also like to thank the countless volunteers, both at the international and chapter level, that work tirelessly to grow and improve IAWP. Without them, IAWP would not be able to provide quality benefits and services for workforce development professionals.
Thank you again, and please contact me anytime to let me know how IAWP can serve you.
Steve Bent, CAE