Board will look to innovative solutions to meet employer demand and provide job opportunities for all

West Michigan Works! announced this week the nomination of the agency’s workforce board chair and vice chair. David Smith, president and CEO of The Employers’ Association, and Cindy Brown, executive director of Hello West Michigan, will serve as chair and vice chair respectively.

The executive team will serve two-year terms. The West Michigan Works! Workforce Board is responsible for the strategic direction of workforce programming in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties.

Dave Smith has been involved in workforce development since 1992 when he was asked to serve on the Private Industry Council. His most recent appointments include chair of the Kent/Allegan/Barry Michigan Works! (2011-2015) and West Michigan Works! (2015-2017). Dave played an instrumental role in the multi-agency regionalization to create West Michigan Works! and is committed to building on the successes of the newly-formed agency:

“West Michigan Works! has identified and overcome many hurdles during the past several years of transition – putting together an effective and representative Board of Directors, initiating an aggressive employer-driven strategic plan, developing/implementing strong working committees to keep our efforts ‘on track and on mission,’ and establishing itself as a nationally-recognized leader in developing workforce solutions that cross established county lines.  I am honored to be re-elected Chair of this progressive workforce agency by the Board of Directors and look forward to building stronger relationships with West Michigan employers and developing innovative solutions to help meet our region’s talent needs”

Cindy Brown joined the workforce board in 2015. She brings a wealth of HR and leadership experience to her role as vice chair.  She offered the following thoughts on the direction of West Michigan Works! over the next few years. “We must continue to engage employers to determine their needs and gaps in the overall workforce development system. Bringing all of this information together will allow us to encourage collaboration among workforce partners to ensure job seekers have the best information and training available.”

Regarding her investment in West Michigan Works!, Cindy added, “It’s important for people to be able to provide for themselves and their families. I believe there’s a job opportunity for everyone. Making candidates aware of all options and access to training will assist our companies’ growth and make West Michigan a place where people will be successful.”

See the full roster of West Michigan Works! board members here>