Orvella leaving WSLC to become SPEEA’s Legislative Director

OLYMPIA — Chelsea Orvella, Workforce Investment Act Liaison for the Washington State Labor Council, has announced she is leaving the council to become Legislative Director for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001.

Since 2008, Orvella has worked with fellow WIA Liaison Bill Messenger to find alternatives to plant closure and job dislocation, and when such closures and layoffs can’t be avoided, to help the affected workers have access to job retraining and reemployment opportunities available through the WIA and the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs.

“Chelsea has been an incredible advocate for unemployed and dislocated workers in Washington State,” said WSLC President Jeff Johnson. “Her knowledge of the Trade Act and the Workforce Investment Act, along with her understanding and sympathy for working people, has made her an invaluable resource to our affiliates, state and local agencies, and workers. More importantly, she is a valued member of the WSLC family and we will all miss her.”

“It has been an honor to serve the Washington State Labor Council and its affiliates the last few years,” Orvella said. “Fighting to save jobs and advocating for the unemployed is challenging and emotional work, but helping support workers during a difficult time of their lives has also been extremely rewarding. I will miss being a part of these efforts on behalf of the WSLC, but I look forward to serving the labor movement in new capacities and am excited to join SPEEA in working on legislative and political matters that affect their members and the community.”

A local union of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, SPEEA represents more than 24,400 aerospace professionals. As the union’s Legislative Director, Orvella will be responsible for overseeing all legislative activities in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Kansas, Texas, and Washington, D.C. She’ll also be working to deepen and develop SPEEA’s internal organizing program.

Before joining the WSLC, Orvella worked for U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-9th) from 1998 to 2008, the last six years from his Tacoma office, where she served as a liaison to organized labor. Chelsea was raised in the South Sound by a third-generation longshore family and currently resides in the Tacoma area with her husband, John — a member of Operating Engineers Local 612 — and their two children.

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