2022 MEDA Summer Conference

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July 27, 2022
9:00 am – 12:15 pm

Workforce development is an essential aspect of economic development. Businesses can’t thrive, grow, and succeed without a trained, skilled, and educated workforce to employ. There are so many innovative ideas and programs being created and implemented in the workforce development sphere; our 2022 MEDA Summer Conference is about bringing together an engaging group of experts and professionals to share and discuss what’s new, what’s happening, and what’s next in workforce development.

Here are just a few of the topics our panelists and keynote speaker will discuss:

  • micro-credentialing and other “new” initiatives that help with a career path
  • strategies for talent recruitment and retention
  • how “paper ceiling” degree requirements hurt upward mobility for employees, and impact employers’ diversity efforts and business growth
  • how apprenticeship, upscaling, and rescaling efforts can keep a business relevant
  • how to leverage your current workforce development infrastructure to maximize economic impact
  • how industry is adapting and evaluating their recruitment requirements

Speakers and panelists will discuss and share, and be available for Q&As.

Click here to view the Agenda. 

Click here to view the minutes from the April Business Meeting.

** Register Below **

Opening Remarks: James E. Rzepkowski, Assistant Secretary, Division of Workforce Development & Adult Learning, Maryland Department of Labor

Panel 1: “Future of Workforce Development: Building Local Workforce Development Systems that Produce Talent & Meet the Needs of Businesses”

Moderator: Amanda Wagner, Chief Operating Officer, Employ Prince George’s


  • Chris Guidry, Vice President, Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • Manoach (Manny) Lamarre, ETA, United States Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration
  • Dr. Christopher Laney, EdD, CWDP, Senior Workforce Strategist, Lightcast

Maryland has 13 different local workforce development areas, with 13 different local workforce development boards, over 30 different job centers, and thousands of staff operating them, but each of Maryland’s local workforce development areas have a common group of core partners and elements that can help drive the success of local economies. This panel of local and national experts will examine the current state of local workforce systems, the future of Maryland and America’s workforce systems, and how economic development organizations can leverage their local workforce systems to maximize economic outcomes in their local economy.

Panel 2: “Advancing Workforce Preparation: Adaptive Strategies and Solutions to Current Skills Shortages”

Moderator: Ellen Flowers-Fields, Associate Vice President for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, College of Southern Maryland


  • Nicholas D’Antonio, Workforce Development Strategist, Lockheed Martin
  • Becky Klein-Collins, Vice President of Impact, Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • Tim Tatsui, Vice President for workforce development career & technical education, National Education Foundation
  • Kelly Koermer, Vice President of Continuing Education & Training, Carroll Community College

Panelists will engage in an interactive discussion on effective strategies that are accelerating credential completion.  Learn how the blueprints for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), stackable credentialing, micro-credentialing, and digital badging supports this.

Keynote Speaker:
Bridgette Gray, Chief Customer Officer, Opportunity@Work

Bridgette will be speaking on “STARs: The Strategy to Find The Skilled and Diverse Talent You Need in Today’s Workforce”

Employers today say there’s a talent shortage – but what if they’re just not looking in the right place? There are more than 70+ million workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs), rather than through a bachelor’s degree, who are being overlooked today. Nearly half of these STARs have the skills to thrive in in-demand roles, but they’re overlooked and held back by the paper ceiling – the invisible barrier that comes at every turn for workers without a bachelor’s degree – and it’s hurting their upward mobility and employers’ diversity efforts. Learn about the size, demographics, and skills of the STARs talent pool, ways to find them, and how your organization can start supporting STARs.


Keynote Speaker



Wed, Jul 27, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 12:15 pm


2022 MEDA Summer Conference