Welcome to your Missouri Workforce News!

What's New in the World of Workforce
July 1, 2021

A Letter From the President

Dear Colleagues, 

I am honored to serve as the MAWD President for 2021-2021, and I hope you will join me in the work ahead, as we strive to make MAWD the advocate for our disciplines and our professions. 

There is much to be done as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. As an organization, we are committed to the guiding principles and look to identify ways to enhance the membership benefits with increased professional development opportunities, hybrid networking opportunities, and advocacy in legislation that benefits employment, training, and workforce development programs. 

Missouri's economy is made stronger everyday thanks in part to the contributions of the workforce system. I look forward to serving the association in the role as the President. 

Dana Keller


The membership cycle for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) begins July 1 so now’s the time to sign up to get the full benefit of your membership. NAWDP provides the professional development, resources and certification credibility to workforce development professionals seeking to successfully compete and thrive in a workforce development career and become leaders in the field. A few of the benefits NAWDP’s current membership values most are highlighted below:

  • Build connections with other industry professionals
  • Become eligible to obtain the industry-accepted credentials of a Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP)
    • Professional Affiliation with a Workforce Association is a requirement of applying for the CWDP. NAWDP membership fulfills this requirement.
  • Member-only access to post RFP’s and industry opportunities
  • Receive discounted membership pricing on certification, professional development, conferences, and events.
    • Certification: The CWDP credential validates and honors the competencies and experience required for success in the workforce industry and is a nationally recognized and portable credential accepted as a valuable measurement tool by over 80% of those making hiring, promotion, salary, and bonus decisions.
    • Professional Development: NAWDP offers a wide variety of one-hour E-Learning opportunities on timely workforce topics.
    • Conferences: NAWDP is returning to in-person events for the Youth Development Symposium, December 6-8 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago, IL; and the Annual Conference, May 16-18 at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
    • Events: NAWDP hosts several virtual academies throughout the year. Read more about NAWDP’s current academy: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virtual Academy.
  • Gain access to industry-leading resources to thrive as a thought leader in the industry.
    • Advocacy Toolkit: tips for how to promote your work
    • Monthly NAWDP Advantage newsletter
    • Weekly emails that include resources and relevant workforce industry information

As the leading advocate for workforce development professionals, NAWDP builds relationships and connections with other industry-leading organizations to challenge and collaborate for the advancement of the industry. Click here to learn more about how you can become a part of the largest organization of workforce development professionals.

House Spotlight –

A Close Look at a MAWD Partner:

Office of Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning
Jeanna Caldwell

1. The Game: Briefly describe an overview of services offered by your agency?

The name of the game is to come out on top! Apprenticeship Missouri along with our extensive network of partners “The Team” has been ranked second in the nation in number of new apprenticeships two years running. Everybody likes a good underdog story and Missouri has been able to stay on top with a fraction of the funding that our competition currently enjoys. Apprenticeships are that perfect blend, we think, of training and development that offers a ladder of success for its participants.

2.  Who are the Players: Who can or does your agency serve?

    Missouri employers are a huge part of our offense. They start with a game plan and recruit from our many citizens seeking a diverse and rewarding experience.  Our Missouri citizens are heavily recruited and they are the true players sticking to the plan and leaving it all out on the field. Our training partners (community colleges, universities, tech schools, etc.) are our assistant coaches and statisticians providing guidance and instruction on how to win the game.

    3. Aces Up Your Sleeve: What’s your best kept secret about your agency?  

      The best kept secret about Apprenticeship Missouri is how we continually manage to perform at a high level and remain nationally known and relevant in the world of work-based learning! It is no secret though. The vision of Missouri Apprenticeships is driven by our Governor, Director, community leaders and partners as well as many others who want to see us succeed. Apprenticeship is a dynamic concept that is not afraid to try something new or take a chance on a new idea. Our motto is “Anything is apprenticeable” and if it hasn’t been done yet then that’s our challenge.

      4. Show Me the Money: What funding services should MAWD members be aware of?

      When talking about funding sources it’s important to understand that each Local Workforce Development Board is in essence the “gatekeeper” for programs in their respective areas. They are the sponsors of many of the programs because we rely upon them to know employer needs in their area and to be able to access the talent pool of each apprentice applicant. We are driven by grants and are continually seeking new funding streams through this vehicle. The money changes but the message remains and the biggest step is getting area employers excited about the program to get them to invest in it.

      5. Dealer’s Choice: What’s one thing we should know about your agency?

        The Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning talks the talk and walks the walk. We pour everything into our projects and are not afraid to take a chance. If an employer wants to be a part of the program we will do everything in our power to make it happen. If a Missouri citizen wants to be an apprentice we work to make sure it can happen. If an apprenticeship does not exist for what they want to do we can create one. Whether it’s an employer that wants 1 or 100 apprentices we will do our best to make it happen. We can admit defeat but we don’t like it. We are down but never out and though we may be small we are mighty in spirit. Our greatest gift is our network which spans the state and that’s why a tenacious force of state workers can take on a nation and come in second place.

        SAVE THE DATE!

        AUGUST 12, 2021 - 10 AM 

        Ann Merrifield, with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Missouri has been a regular speaker for MAWD conferences over the years. She is joining us in August to talk about working with at-risk youth and individuals with special needs. 

        This professional development opportunity is reserved for MAWD members only and you will have to be logged in to our membership page in order to register. Check to see if your registration is up to date by visiting our membership page.

        Session will be held via zoom. Register online today

        Scholarship Winner Update


        Autasha was one of three MAWD scholarship winners from 2019. We checked in with her to see how everything was going with her studies. Here's what she said:

        1. How is college going? 

        It is going good! I am taking two summer classes, and then three this coming Fall semester at OTC and then I will be done with my Associates and moving on to MSU or Drury. So I am excited for that change and to get to focus more on my degree-specific classes instead of general education classes. 

        2. How did COVID impact your training? 

        I feel lucky to say it has not impacted me to a great extent. Having to take some classes online that I would have preferred taking seated has probably been the biggest impact. That and maybe just feeling a higher worldwide anxiety level. 

        3. What has been the most important thing you have learned from pursuing training in Psychology? 

        Oh, there is so much I could say about Psychology. The most important thing Psychology has taught me so far is just understanding humans, the way we work, our thoughts, and our behaviors. Being able to understand those things helps, especially when working with the public. The thing I find most "interesting" has been learning the different parts of our brains and their functions. I can definitely nerd out when talking about the brain!

        4. Anything else you want to add or share with other MAWD members? 

        Just a thank you for your assistance with the scholarship. As a full-time student, a full-time employee, and a 20-something trying to balance those things, while trying to stay active and keep some semblance of a social life, having any help with paying for school is always appreciated. I love being a part of MAWD, the amazing conferences, and being able to learn from others about how we can all work to build a better workforce."


        WorkforceGPS - Online technical assistance resource sponsored by the US Dept. of Labor. Hosts a wealth of webinars and othe resources useful for all WIOA partners!

        MAWD Professional Development - Did you miss out on a past event? Check out videos and handouts from past presentations online!