Washington Workforce Association’s Annual Fall Conference Put a Focus on Quality Jobs, Working Together to Strengthen Workforce Development Systems

WWA Directors 2023


Washington Workforce Association’s Annual Fall Conference Put a Focus on Quality Jobs, Working Together to Strengthen Workforce Development Systems

Leaders from state and local agencies, statewide workforce development advocates and leaders shared ideas and best practices to move job seekers into quality jobs and support employers with their workforce needs

OLYMPIA, Wash., – The Washington Workforce Association (WWA), comprised of local workforce development boards and their partners across Washington state, held its annual Fall Conference, Stronger Together, Nov. 14-16 in downtown Tacoma.

Nearly 600 workforce development partners, state and local agency leaders and others gathered to strengthen their ties to better serve job seekers and employers fill the workforce needs of today and tomorrow.

“It’s gratifying to see our fall conference grow, demonstrating year after year that we are stronger together. Forging relationships that allow us to lean into each other’s expertise and lived experiences to meet the needs of all workers and employers across Washington is invaluable to the work we do,” said Katie Condit, CEO of WorkForce Central in Pierce County and WWA board chair. “Just seeing the camaraderie and energy at the conference inspires us to do even more and harness innovative ways to address the unique challenges, such as stable housing and childcare, facing career seekers in today’s economy. It truly does take all of us to create a strong economy and vibrant communities for all residents.”

This year’s conference prime sponsor was the state Employment Security Department, which partners with the 12 Local Boards that make up WWA, to support their essential services that create an economic ecosystem that creates equitable access to quality jobs.

“WWA has been laser focused on building strong relationships across business sectors, with union leaders, workforce development advocates and leaders and others to align efforts that move people from poverty to a paycheck,” WWA Executive Director John Traugott said. “Our partners, sponsors and workforce development leaders across the state continue to step up and help all of us be successful in the important work we do to move people to job opportunities that move them to economic security and ensure our employers’ workforce needs are met.”

The association also handed out their annual awards:

  • WWA Chair Award – Oleksandr Burlakov from Bates Technical College
  • Workforce Partner of the Year – Chelsea Mason-Placek from WA State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Workforce Employer of the Year – Mike Hagen with American Structures & Design
  • Workforce Professional of the Year – Cynthia Garcia from Benton Franklin Workforce Development Council

Panels and breakout sessions including topics such as agricultural workforce needs, creating a culture of inclusivity, broadband access, shaping tomorrow’s leaders, equitable access to quality jobs and more.

Visit the website for more information on the association and the fall conference.


About the Washington Workforce Association

The Washington Workforce Association (WWA) is a nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization of the Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) of Washington State. The LWDBs are business-led boards that coordinate and leverage workforce investments and strategies with stakeholders from education, economic development, labor and community-based organizations to advance the economic health of their respective communities through a skilled and competitive workforce.

Media Resources: Washington Workforce Association

Media Contact:

Bobbi Cussins                                                                                                        360.280.1679                                                                                                                       [email protected]

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