County’s Workforce Development Manager wins state workforce award

Workforce Phoenix Award recipient Stephanie Smith (left) is pictured with Chester County Department of Workforce Development Director Jeannette Roman.

The Chester County Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announces that one of its team members, Workforce Development Manager Stephanie Smith, was recently honored with the Workforce Phoenix Award presented by the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) at their annual conference. Smith was recognized for championing and shaping workforce development initiatives in Chester County.

Chester County Commissioners Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz, and Eric Roe said in a joint statement, “Our Department of Workforce Development provides services that support both individuals seeking work and career opportunities, and employers looking for skilled, professional employees. Stephanie has spearheaded many projects that bridge the gap between job seekers and employers, helping to keep Chester County’s business community successful and economy robust.

“Stephanie’s dedication and enthusiasm is appreciated here in Chester County, and we are especially proud that her work has been recognized at the state level,” added the Commissioners.

The Workforce Phoenix Award recognizes a Pennsylvania workforce development professional who demonstrates innovation and leadership, acts as a change-maker, and provides excellent service to others.

Jeannette Roman, Director of the Chester County Department of Workforce Development, said, “Stephanie’s ‘people-first’ approach fosters partnerships with local businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and community organizations across the region. She empowers employers and individuals by providing the skills and support they need because she understands both the challenges and opportunities they face. Most importantly, Stephanie leads by example with positivity, good humor, and grace.”

The statewide call by PWDA for award nominations led the Workforce Development Team from the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) to submit an application highlighting Stephanie’s qualifications.

Gary Smith, CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Council, said, “Chester County government and the CCEDC have created the national model for a true public-private partnership when it comes to workforce development. For more than 30 years, we’ve said economic development is workforce development. It’s what our employers have demanded, and we provide it, working as a team.

“So this really felt like a win for the team because Stephanie and her colleagues with the County are critical members of the public sector who unite with CCEDC, as we bring private sector employers to the table to match with employees.”

Stephanie Smith started her career in workforce development in 2009 and joined the County in 2014, first as a program coordinator at PA CareerLink® Chester County, before moving to the Chester County Department of Community Development as a workforce coordinator and finally moving to DWD as a workforce manager.

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