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Workforce Investment Boards Panel Discussion

Thursday September 27, 2018
Workforce Development Boards – Partnerships that Build a Strong Workforce


Jacob Maas
West Michigan Works!
Grand Rapids, MI

Jacob Maas is the Chief Executive Officer of West Michigan Works!, the workforce development agency for Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa counties. As CEO, Jacob oversees employment and training programs comprised of federal, state, local and foundation funds and provides strategic direction for workforce activities in West Michigan. With over 15 years of experience in the public sector, Jacob is committed to creating systems that meet the needs of communities and clients and is committed to providing a demand- and data-driven direction for region’s talent development efforts.

Jacob is a graduate of Hope College and resident of Grand Rapids. He is active at the state level, serving on the Michigan Works! Directors Council Steering Committee, and within the region as a member of several workforce and social service agency committees and boards.

Linda Nguyen
CEO, WorkForce Central
Pierce County, WA

Linda Nguyen is the Chief Executive Officer for WorkForce Central and chief staff to the Pierce County Workforce Development Council (WDC). As such, she oversees all facets of the organization, including strengthening partnerships to enhance the local workforce development system. Her primary focus is to ensure that our residents gain skills to fill available family wage jobs and ensure that our local businesses are able to find qualified talent to be globally competitive.

Nguyen has 27 years of experience in all aspects of workforce development, beginning as youth case manager and advancing through program management and development, planning and compliance, department lead, and funds acquisition. She holds a Baccalaureate degree from the University of Puget Sound and is a board member of the Tacoma Pierce County Economic Development Board, Chair of United Way of Pierce County Board, board member of Geneva Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council. She is also currently Chair of the Washington Workforce Association and is active on multiple college and K-12 advisory committees.

Mitzi Woods
South Delta Planning and Development District
Greenwood, MS

Mitzi is the Workforce Director at South Delta Planning and Development District in Greenville, Mississippi; for the Delta Workforce Development Area, having served in her current position for 13 years. Prior to assuming the Workforce Director position, Mitzi worked as a Program Specialist for the District for a year. Before joining South Delta in 2003, Mitzi worked for 24 years at Mid-State Opportunity, a community action agency based in Charleston, Mississippi as program planner and project director for a variety of community based programs.

She attended Delta State University and is a member of the National Association of Workforce Boards, the Southeastern Employment Training Association, and currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Mississippi Association of Workforce Areas.

Dr. Bill Pink, Moderator
President, Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids, MI

In May 2017, Dr. Bill Pink became the tenth president of Grand Rapids Community College. Dr. Pink was Vice President and Dean for Workforce Development at Grand Rapids Community College prior to becoming the president and has been an educator for more than 25 years.

Dr. Pink contributes to his community through a variety of ways, including membership on the Board of Directors for Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids, Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, and the Heart of West Michigan United Way. Dr. Pink also serves on the boards of West MichiganWorks (the workforce development agency for seven counties in West Michigan), The Employers’ Association in Grand Rapids, Talent 2025, The Right Place, and the Spectrum Health Hospital Board.

Dr. Pink enjoys golfing, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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