Lawrence to direct Penn State's workforce development initiatives

University Park, Pa. -- Michael Lawrence has been appointed director of Workforce Development Initiatives in the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), a Penn State Outreach unit, effective Jan. 8.

Among his responsibilities, Lawrence will coordinate major statewide workforce development initiatives, establish regional workforce development partnerships with Penn State campuses and other external partners, and identify funding opportunities and help develop proposals to secure resources to support these initiatives.

In addition, Lawrence will work in collaboration with Penn State Continuing Education offices, College of Education faculty and faculty from other academic units and campuses to create a unified focal point for Penn State resources in support of workforce development.

"Mike Lawrence brings more than 20 years of experience leading workforce development efforts in north central Pennsylvania to his new role," OEWD Director Jack Gido said. "We're pleased to have Mike join the Penn State team."

Since 1987, Lawrence has been deputy director for workforce development for the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission. In this role, he directed the six-county North Central Workforce Investment Area (WIA) -- one of two in the state that have qualified and received state incentive awards every year of eligibility since 1999. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor selected the North Central WIA -- one of only five in the nation -- to be included as a case study in a book, highlighting the workforce development system's achievements, success stories and best practices.

Lawrence also established industry partnerships in manufacturing, oil and gas production, and healthcare. He recently helped to establish a manufacturing education and economic network that brought together three Workforce Investment Boards, the Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and the Northwest and North Central Regional Planning and Development Commissions.

In addition to being responsible for the North Central Pennsylvania Planning and Development Commission's workforce development efforts since 1983, Lawrence has extensive statewide and national experience working with government agencies and workforce-related associations. He has secured and managed a number of federal, state and local grants.

Lawrence is vice president of the National Workforce Association. He also has served as president of Pennsylvania Partners, a statewide workforce development association. He is a member of the board of directors of the Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center and is a founding board member of the Elk/Cameron Community Education Council. In addition, he has testified before federal congressional and state legislative committees and made numerous presentations at local, state and national conferences.

Lawrence earned his bachelor of science degree in education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009