The Business and Politics of Workforce Development

Workforce development used to be considered the “poor cousin of education.” It was defined as providing training to produce more and better-prepared workers. Workforce development is now considered to be more than a single program with an interconnected set of solutions to meet employment needs. It prepares workers with needed skills, emphasizes the value of workplace learning and addresses the hiring demands of employers from the outset. Katie is the senior federal policy analyst for the National Skills Coalition in Washington DC. She provides in-depth analyses of proposed and existing federal workforce, postsecondary education and human services policies. Katie’s job requires her to understand the politics involved in shaping workforce development policy. As executive director of the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA), Pam has heard ABBRA members’ concerns about the problems caused by the lack of skilled labor and job-ready workers. For the past four years, she has served on Business Leaders United’s Advisory Panel on Work-Based Learning, providing important guidance and insight into the needs of small and mid-sized businesses in the expansion of work-based learning programs nationally.

Speakers: Katie Spiker and Pam Lendzion

Pamela Lendzion
Pam Lendzion has 18 years experience in the Marine Industry as well as a 100-ton USCG Masters License. Pam is the CEO of MarineTec Management & Consulting Company, a company that provides third party management and consulting services to organizations, marinas and boatyards, municipalities, developers, banks, and investment funds. The company's services include, strategic planning, feasibility and market studies, site assessments, construction project management, business start-ups, executive and operations management, Pam held the positions of Director of Marina Development for Legendary Inc., Director of Third-Party Management and Special Projects at Marinas International, she was on the Consulting Team for Focus Management Group and the COO of Vinings Marine Group. Prior to her experience in the Marine industry, Ms. Lendzion had a long and varied history in the hospitality industry including owning two restaurants and an executive hotel that she designed, built, and operated, employing 100+ people. She also owned and operated a professional development training business with 42 licensed trainers.
Currently Pam serves as Executive Director for the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA), the President of the Marine Industry Training and Education Council (MITEC) and is an International Marina Institute (IMI) faculty member, teaching Leadership and Management Skills to marina and boatyard operators. She is a trustee of The Landing School of Boat Building and Design in Arundel, Maine and a member of the Marine Industries Apprenticeship Leadership Roundtable in Washington State.  Pam has been a speaker at trade conferences for many years. She is on the Editorial Board for Marina Dock Age magazine, and Past President/Director of the Marine Industries Association of Northeast Florida.
As a leader in two national trade associations, Pam is currently involved in an industry wide effort to develop a sustainable technically skilled workforce for the recreational marine industry. She is one of the original members of Business Leaders United (BLU) and currently serves on BLU’s Advisory Panel on Work-Based Learning for Youth and Adults, providing important guidance and insight into the needs of small-and mid-sized businesses in the expansion of work-based learning programs.

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Katie Spiker
Katie Spiker is Senior Federal Policy Analyst with National Skills Coalition, working to advance NSC’s Washington-based policy efforts through federal legislation, agency regulation and national funding initiatives. In this capacity, Katie provides in-depth analyses of proposed and existing federal workforce, postsecondary education, and human services polices. In coordination with NSC field staff, she assists local leaders with their advocacy efforts on these issues in Washington and in district. Katie joined NSC in 2015.
Prior to joining NSC, Katie was the Associate Director of the National Center for Women’s Employment Equity at Wider Opportunities for Women where she managed the design and provision of on-site and virtual technical assistance and the creation of case studies and policy briefs related to nontraditional occupations and occupational segregation. Katie has also consulted with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the National Women’s Law Center. She served as policy counsel for Workplace Flexibility 2010 and the National Partnership for Women and Families as a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. Katie is a 2015 Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow.
She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. She is based in Washington, DC.