On September 10, 2014, Public Works Partners and WPTI—the Workforce Professionals Training Institute—convened our second workforce development leadership roundtable this year. The topic was Developing Leaders in the Workforce Field and included a panel of dynamic leaders from across the workforce field and the private sector. Panelists shared their own career experiences, the passion that keeps them in the field, and their respective organizations’ efforts to develop leaders from within. Panelists included:
- Diane Edelson, Senior Vice President of Grant Associates, Inc.
- Alicia Guevara, Executive Director of Year Up New York
- Katrina Jones, Senior Human Resources Generalist at Latham & Watkins LLP
- Jen Mitchell, Executive Director of The Hope Program
- Julie Shapiro, Executive Director of The Door, A Center for Alternatives
The conversation highlighted several strategies panelists used to develop leaders from within. These include explicit goal-setting; putting high-potential employees on important projects, including assignments that stretch and develop their skills; creating well-defined career paths to aspire to; and intentional performance management. Many panelists and attendees also mentioned mentoring and investing in professional development as key elements of retaining and developing staff.
Blake Walters Foote, vice chair of WPTI’s board of directors, opened the day. The panel was moderated by Celeste Frye of Public Works. Sharon Sewell-Fairman, executive director of WPTI, and Allison Quigney of Public Works presented our own best practices for leadership and professional development resources. The group then discussed the most pertinent points from the day and set goals for their own organizations. Watch this space for more best practices and resources from the day.
This Leadership Roundtable Series was developed in order to bring workforce development leaders together to learn and build the field. The next roundtable will be conducted early in 2015. Use the comments section below to let us know what you would like to see discussed then. We’ll see you there!