Reflections from the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Annual Conference

Kristina Harrell ·

I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV with several EDSI colleagues. It was great to reconnect with EDSI team members from all over the country; Jessica Johnson, Susan Oney, Terri Kaufman, Ray Eibel and Ken Mall, to name a few.

For me, this conference was different from the ones I’ve attended in the past. This year, instead of hoping to one day obtain my Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP) certificate, I was attending as a CWDP and looking to increase my knowledge in all fields of workforce development.

Reflecting on my experience, I appreciated the conversations with many workforce professionals from across the nation. Specifically, I enjoyed listening to and sharing ideas around implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). During my time at the conference, I had the opportunity to attend a great presentation; one that engaged everyone in the room, titled “Motivation to Meet Your Measures.” The presentation was primarily geared toward understanding today’s youth, and it really put everything into perspective for me, especially having one pre-teen and two teenage children.

The presenters considered generational gaps, what motivates us, what motivates today’s youth and strategies to continue to engage and motivate today’s youth. One of the successful youth participants, Justin Lockard, was quoted as saying “You too can reach this level of success, in these ways, no matter the struggle – it’s all in the determination!” A simple equation to consider: Motivating our Clients + Motivating our Staff = Meeting our Goals.

Thanks to NAWDP for another great conference this year. Surprisingly, Elvis made an appearance at the conference as well, so we didn’t want to miss out on a photo opportunity! :)