Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Megan Bailey: 'I feel I have the capacity to be a workforce leader'
As Megan Bailey went through the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program, her background as a graphic artist and her nine years as a job coach paid off. Before the program ended, the California Workforce Association (CWA) hired her and two other apprentices as program managers to handle workforce development issues on a statewide level.
For her capstone presentation, Bailey created a smartphone app for job seekers. The app combined graphics and information that provided virtual job coaching, plus it gave individuals an online connection to a real job coach.
Bailey shared her thoughts on the apprenticeship:
“This program has taken me to a cutting edge level of workforce development. I started off as a workforce development professional with no accredited workforce training, and now I feel I have the capacity of being a workforce development leader. This apprenticeship has made the most significant change to my career than all of the career path changes I have ever made in my life.
“The subject matter and instruction is so well rounded and tailored to effectively prepare us to work in California’s workforce development markets. We’re actually focusing, not only on putting job seekers back into employment, but creating career pathways with them.
“I really felt that I was able to successfully balance the academics of the apprenticeship and on-the-job training successfully. We often had to rely upon a bit of sugar and caffeine for the evening class after an eight-hour day on the job, but I think my colleagues and I were able to bond really well, considering we were experiencing a lot of the same pressures and challenges with the work-life balance.
“I would highly recommend this apprenticeship for workforce staff at all levels.”
“This apprenticeship is valuable to the seasoned job coach, the knowledgeable workforce development supervisor, and the governmental or nonprofit employee who works in any capacity with job seekers.” – Megan Bailey, graduate
“I appreciate the foresight that SETA had with their move to send us into this inaugural apprentice training and the vision of the CWA leadership to see the gifts and talent that I can bring to their association. I am very excited to take my workforce experiences and knowledge to the next level of workforce development on a state level.”
As a program manager, Bailey handles CWA’s communications and membership duties and coordinates several statewide conferences a year.
Six months into her new job, Bailey observed: “Since accepting my position at CWA, I have gained the knowledge and understanding that there is an even larger demand for this type of training within my profession. Being the first cohort, I feel that it is our responsibility to encourage and support future cohorts of the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program.”