A delegation from the North Tennessee Workforce Board and Workforce Essentials attended the 2015 National Association of Workforce Board’s Annual Forum in Washington DC on March 28-31st.   

The Forum, entitled Advancing Workforce Innovation, focused on the impending implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.   

Several issue sessions were held to dive into deep discussion and direction on:

1) Developing career pathways; 2) Creating unified and combined strategic plans; 3) Putting business first; and

4) Meeting the needs of youth. 

A highlight of the event was the presentation from the 26th U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez.  Secretary Perez (shown bottom left) was energized about the “Opportunities” in the new passed WIOA.   

The Tennessee delegation, which was well represented by workforce professionals across the state, was particularly pleased when Perez lauded Governor Haslam and Tennessee for its education and workforce development initiatives through community and technology colleges.

10551676_1074483635902447_6376673013783801985_oWhile in D.C., a small group of interested Board members and staff made a quick trip to Accokeek, Maryland to visit and tour the current home of Beretta USA.  As you are aware, Beretta is in the process of relocating its manufacturing facility to Gallatin, TN.

Anthony Holt, Sumner County Executive, was extremely interested to learn more about Beretta’s operations. During the visit, we discussed Beretta’s workforce needs and an upcoming job fair this fall.  

While we did miss out on the beautiful cherry blossom season in DC, we did have a productive trip and came back with additional knowledge to help us transition to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July!  Thanks to the board members and elected officials that volunteered their time to attend with us.