NAJA'S 39th ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE. MAY 1-5, 2023 at InterContinental Magnificent Mile CHICAGO
click and download both pdf below for REGISTRATION FORM & CURRENT AGENDA
NAJA has a dynamic line up for its 39th Annual National Conference in Chicago May 1-5, 2023. We are excited to have the United States Department Of Labor participate in such a big way to ensure a successful conference. Check out the program line up which includes the following highlights:
Monday, May 1 (60 minutes)“Fireside Chat with ETA Leadership” - Join ETA’s two Deputy Assistant Secretaries Lenita Jacobs-Simmons and Laura Watson, as they discuss with Pam Gerassimides, Region 5 Regional Administrator, the challenges and opportunities of the workforce development system, as well as USDOL’s priorities and new directions.
Lenita Jacobs-Simmons has over 20years of experience working at the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) serving in numerous executive positions. Currently, Ms. Jacobs-Simmons is ETA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for the offices of Unemployment Insurance, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Policy, Development and Research, as well as oversight of regional operations. In 2014, Ms. Jacobs-Simmons was appointed as the National Director of Job Corps, responsible for leading and managing the program’s 125 Job Corps centers throughout the country. During this period, she provided leadership for the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and system-wide improvements related to safety and security, student career pathways, academic standards, strengthening enrollment services, and providing engagement in support of a national, Job Corps student-led anti-violence initiative. Additionally, Ms. Jacobs-Simmons served in Regional Administrator positions for ETA’s Region 2 (Philadelphia) and Region 3 (Atlanta). As Regional Administrator, she was responsible for oversight of ETA unemployment and reemployment programs administered in these regions and its state and grantee partners in accordance with Workforce Investment Act, Unemployment Insurance, and the Wagner Peyser Act. Prior to joining ETA, Ms. Jacobs-Simmons had a distinguished history of public service in the State of South Carolina where she served as the Grants Administrator for the Charleston County government and Executive Director of the Trident Workforce Investment Board for more than 10 years. In these capacities, she was responsible for unifying a tri-county area and implementing the first One-Stop Delivery System in the State.
Ms. Laura Patton Watson is currently serving as one of the two career Deputy Assistant Secretaries for the Employment & Training Administration. Prior to this position, she was the Administrator of the Office of Grants Management overseeing over $9 billion in annual awards. Laura has extensive experience in all phases the federal assistance arena with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), from indirect costs rates through audit resolutions and anything in between.
Laura has represented the Department on a number of Councils under the Office of Management & Budget and was heavily involved in producing the modernized and streamlined regulations for federal assistance-known now as the Uniform Guidance. Laura is a graduate of North Carolina State University, the Federal Executive Institute, the John F. Kennedy School of Government and currently resides in Arlington, VA with her husband and two dogs.
Pam Gerassimides – Regional Administrator, RO5 Before joining ETA in July, as the Regional Administrator in Region 5, Pam Gerassimides was Workforce Innovation Director at NASWA, one of many roles related to workforce development and reemployment she has held in her nearly twenty-four years with the organization. A true “idea person”, Pam has a masterful command of federal workforce policies and how they affect and are received by state agencies and the local jobs centers. During her career she has promoted partnership-building and systems change initiatives through researching best practices nation-wide, developing skills training modules, and enabling technical assistance for state and local workforce staff. Most recently, Pam led the USDOL-funded Workforce IT Support Center (Workforce ITSC), supporting WIOA partner agencies in furthering integrated digital technology solutions for customer service, reporting and data insights. Under her direction the Center encouraged technology approaches that are program driven, agile, modular and user-centric. Pam was critical in designing the Center’s two main service lines: a suite of online information tools charting current state technologies, available vendors, consultants, products, and procurements; and staff skills trainings on digital transformation and business analysis. Pam also created and grew the public-private partnership which came to be known as the National Labor Exchange (NLx). The NLx delivers to states an unduplicated and refreshed daily job-feed, from vetted employers, and at no cost to the public-sector. Pam led NASWA’s public-private partnership for ten years, building a thriving, value-rich initiative from concept to reality. Pam has also staffed national workforce system committees, notably in the areas of communications and marketing, information technology, and veterans’ affairs. She has also led the securing and management of multiple federal grants in areas such as staff skills training and international development. Pam began her career at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, as the Youth Programs Coordinator, later joining USDOL, ETA’s Welfare to Work Office. Born in Indiana, Pam was raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, which she loves to visit often. She is married to Nick Klissas, an attorney specializing in foreign aid efforts, and has a daughter who is nearing college age. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Berea College in Kentucky and a Master’s in Public and International Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Monday, May 1 (90 minutes)Jerry Balistreri, Reading the Tells - Learning How to Read Body Language (emphasis on detecting lying and deception)
This training is specialized and targeted to assist in the interview process. Foundations of the training will be centered on reading body language, the science of lying, and examination of the content and structure of interviewee’s that may be deceptive.
Learning Objectives:* Describe the three requirements to detecting deception.* Recognize the limbic system and its role in non-verbal communication.* Describe the mental gymnastics that liars perform.* Detect deception in any situation. Tuesday, May 2 (90 minutes)“Yes, WIOA Can: From Policy to Action” Join this plenary panel discussion to hear from Deputy Assistant Secretary Lenita Jacobs-Simmons discuss USDOL’s focus on “Unleashing the Full Power of the Workforce Development System” and pursuing bold and innovative actions under the “Yes, WIOA Can” campaign. The panel will include Mr. Clyde McQueen, President & CEO, Full Employment Council, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri; and Mr. Patrick Combs, Interim CEO, Chicago/Cook;
Tuesday, May 2 (60 minutes)“What’s in A Name? Smart Monitoring” - Join this workshop with Jane Yoon, Chief, Division of Financial Management and Administrative Services (DFMAS), Region 5, and Mr. Victor Kennedy, CFO, Iowa Workforce Development, as they discuss the true purpose of fiscal monitoring, and dispel the misconception that monitoring only serves to identify what grantees are doing wrong and restrict what they can do. This workshop will focus on what a collaborative approach to monitoring looks like and how grantees can prepare to make it as productive and painless as possible
Tuesday, May 2 (90 minutes) Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura P Watson will hold a session on ”Tips & Pitfalls with Preparing a Grant Application. This workshop will provide guidance on preparing and submitting a competitive application for an ETA Funding Opportunity Announcement. Hear from a Grant Officer based on real examples of common pitfalls and tips to improve your chances of successfully submitting a competitive grant application. Join us to be ready for the next grant opportunity!
John Chamberlin is an attorney who has specialized in workforce programs for over forty years. He has worked in forty-seven States and over two hundred local workforce areas. He is regarded as a National Expert on WIOA Law and Regulations. John will moderate a Panel on Organized Labor and Workforce Partnerships along with Adine Foreman and Karen Kent.
Adine Forman, Director, at Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) has over 30 years of managerial experience with Los Angeles-based social service, workforce development and governmental organizations. She is currently the Executive Director of the Hospitality Training Academy (HTA), a non-profit institution and a labor-management partnership/Taft-Hartley fund that provides benefits to both contributing employers and the UNITE HERE Local 11 labor union, serving Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties and the entire State of Arizona.
The HTA trains and upgrades the skills of UNITE HERE Local 11 hospitality and food service workers, who are predominantly women and people of color, and hail from all corners of the planet. The HTA works not only to upskill existing employees that are represented by the union, but also provides a variety of workforce services, registered apprenticeships, vocational ESL, and training programs that are funded by foundations and government agencies to train low income, marginalized individuals for good union jobs with benefits, career pathways and worker voice in the hospitality and food service industry. In 2013, Karen Kent was voted President of UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union, and leads over 10,000 members, the majority of whom are women and people of color. She is the first woman in the century-long history of UNITE HERE Local 1 to be elected President. Under Karen’s leadership, UNITE HERE Local 1 launched the “Hands Off Pants On” campaign to fight sexual harassment in the hospitality industry, garnering national and international recognition. In September 2018, Karen and her members led the broadest citywide hotel strike in Chicago’s history, winning year round health care in contracts covering nearly 6,000 hotel workers.
Liz Jackson-Simpson, Executive Director of Success Centers in San Francisco, CA will showcase a One-Stop and Youthbuild.
Victor M. Lopez , has been with DOL since 1987. He became part of the Cost & Price Determination Division (CPDD) in 1995. He was promoted as Division Chief in 2003. Currently, he supervises 7 cost negotiators and oversees their reviews of indirect cost proposals. Victor will present an “Indirect Cost Overview”
Federal Cognizant Agency (FCA) concept
Why is an agreement needed?
How often proposals are due?
What should be included in Indirect Cost Proposals
Indirect Cost Process and Types of Rates
Examples of Allocation of Indirect Costs
Example of Federally Approved Agreement for Indirect Costs
Michael Carter is the State ETPL Administrator over the State of Oklahoma Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Michael will showcase Oklahoma’s ETPL System, Lessons Learned and Requirements This session will cover programmatic oversight of the State of Oklahoma Eligible Training Provider List for the establishment of initial provider and program eligibility and continued eligibility for the use of Individual Training Accounts. Describes regulatory requirements necessary for the provider, local areas and the Administrative Entity to meet the standards established in accordance with WIOA. Provides a general overview of the state’s ETP processes with emphasis on State and local in-demand occupations, including work-based and classroom instruction, with the goal of ensuring provider performance, job-driven training, informed customer choice, continuous improvement, and cost effective investment of public funds.
Please see www.NAJA.org for conference registration form. THE SITE OF THE CONFERENCE IS AT THE InterContinental Magnificent Mile (hotel rooms are SOLD OUT, try Marriott nearby)
Also visit www.chooseChicago.com for citywide events!
click here to BOOK your hotel room nights, group rate available for a limited time only, subject to availability.
Please call (800) 327-0200 when making hotel reservations and reference the name of the group:
Please circle days you plan to attend on the NAJA registration form
Please circle days you plan to attend on the NAJA registration form
Please circle days you plan to attend on the NAJA registration form
Please circle the day you plan to attend on the NAJA registration form
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These presenters share information issues, resolution and best practices with attendees from WIOA and other DOL funded programs located throughout the United States.
NAJA is a non-profit association that sponsors annual conferences for professional development of government and non-profit workforce development professionals. Since 1982, NAJA has conducted regional workshops and national conferences that are designed to enhance the operations and performance of administrators, middle management and staff personnel of local and state agencies. These workforce development professionals administer employment and training programs funded under the workforce innovation and opportunities act and other federal and state funds.
Mrs Prince Swinson worked 34 years for the US Department of Labor30 years for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) as a Grants and Contracts professional and in other capacities (Fiscal Accounting Specialist, Budget Analyst, and Program Manager). She worked four years for the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics in the accounting and budgeting offices.
During her tenure with ETA, she assisted with developing program regulations; designed the original ETA 9130 reporting formats and instructions (the first ever ETA automated reports); assisted with developing ETA administrative and financial policy, assisted with developing numerous monitoring guides and tools for ETA grant programs. She served as an expert on a national office team that was responsible for addressing complex issues related to the administrative and financial management system requirements for ETA programs. She provided administrative and financial professional guidance to other regional offices’ grantees for complex issues at the request of the ETA national office. She was responsible for training the San Francisco regional office staff in the Contracting Officer’s Technical Requirements (COTR) and/or Grant Officer’s technical requirements (GOTR) as well as other Federal grant requirements. Other duties included training ETA administrative and financial management and program staff as well as the ETA grants community in ETA grant specific and Federal Uniform Guidance requirements. This included training the staff on-site during the monitoring reviews, providing on-site professional and technical guidance to ETA grantees; recommending corrective actions and assisting with resolving issues identified during monitoring and in audit reports Many of the issues cross-cut Federal, State and local governments agencies including the U.S. Department of Education (School to Work), Job Corps, Health and Human Services (Welfare to Work), the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Departments of Labors’ agencies: Office of Cost Determination and the Office of the Inspector General. She also worked with various state, Indian Tribal and local areas/agencies (Commerce, Governors Office, Legislative Offices, Departments of Treasury, Departments of General Service, UI Judges, Departments of Finance, Bureau of Indian Affairs) on cross-cutting issues.
She is now a consultant providing professional/technical assistance and training to ETA grantees for indirect and direct cost. Mrs. Prince Swinson serves on two boards: CEO and President for the National Association of Job Training Assistance (NAJA) and the Idaho Shakespeare Board.