Press Release: Lisanne McNew to Lead CWDC as Chair

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For Immediate Release | October 28, 2021

On October 1, 2021, Lisanne McNew assumed her role as chair of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), a Governor-appointed, public-private partnership with the purpose to advise, oversee, and integrate the work of the Colorado talent development network to meet the needs of employers and workers.

“We are thrilled to have Lisanne take on the role of chair,” said Lee Wheeler-Berliner, managing director of the CWDC. “Her knowledge as a business owner, coupled with her deep understanding of workforce development issues, make her a perfect fit for the job. To respond effectively to the rapidly evolving demands of today and tomorrow’s labor market, Lisanne’s expertise, passion, and strategic thinking will serve both the CWDC and Colorado well.”

Wheeler-Berliner’s comments are borne out by McNew’s experience in diverse workforce-related fields. Known for strengthening relationships between business, education, and workforce, McNew serves as a vice chair of the National Association of Workforce Boards, and as a member of the Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, and the Pikes Peak Workforce Development Board. She was appointed to the CWDC for the first time in September 2016; since then, she has served as both the chair-elect  and as treasurer. Currently, she is president and chief operating officer of McNew & Associates, a government contracts back office and consulting support firm based in Colorado Springs, and the vice president of SAFE, Inc., a customer-focused technical service provider.

“As a business owner, I understand how vitally important a skilled workforce is to the success of an individual businesses as well as our overall statewide economic prosperity,” said McNew, “I am excited to serve as the CWDC chair as we continue to advance Colorado’s economic recovery, connecting individuals with opportunities for upskilling and meaningful work, connecting businesses with skilled workers, and enhancing collaboration among the partners who contribute to Colorado’s talent development network.”

The council is also welcoming the following new members whose terms began in October 2021:

  • Angeles Ortega - Mi Casa Resource Center
  • Baird McKevitt - Xcel Energy
  • Chad Orvis - Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
  • Danielle Felder - The Boys and Girls Clubs in Colorado
  • Dedrick Sims - The Sims-Fayola International Academy
  • Kelly Brown - Boomers Leading Change
  • Louis Martin - Round River Resource Management
  • Londell Jackson - Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain
  • Peter Brissette - DMD Consulting - Digital Marketing Dude

Both Wheeler-Berliner and McNew expressed appreciation for council members whose terms have expired (see list below). “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our departing members, the CWDC has been able to significantly advance our mission,” said Wheeler-Berliner. “We are grateful to them, and to past chair, Tim Fry, for helping advance the CWDC’s work. Their dedication has significantly contributed to our collective successes.”

  • Ashley Valdez
  • Paul Zeckser
  • Nilesh Parikh
  • Michael Hess
  • Joel Buchanan
  • Kelly Causey
  • Liddy Romero
  • Bryan Dear
  • Phil Nash

About the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC)

The vision of the CWDC is that every Colorado employer has access to a skilled workforce and every Coloradan has the opportunity for meaningful employment, resulting in individual and statewide economic prosperity. The CWDC’s mission is to enhance and sustain a skills-based talent development network that meets the needs of employers, workers, job seekers, and learners for today and tomorrow. The CWDC acts on behalf of the governor and the Colorado legislature on policy matters related to all programs and activities funded by WIOA. The Governor-appointed members serve as the state workforce investment board. The CWDC office staff support the Council, the BEL Commission, and the State Rehabilitation Council. The Council champions TalentFOUND, the Colorado talent development network, and is charged with aligning the efforts of economic development, education, workforce development, government, and business stakeholders at the local, regional, and state levels. The CWDC publishes the Colorado Talent Pipeline Report each year, which identifies the areas of growing demand and opportunity, key features of the current labor force, and strategies to balance the supply and demand equation for talent.