The Stand

WSLC’s Caitlyn Jekel hired as governor’s labor policy advisor

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OLYMPIA (March 21, 2019) — Caitlyn Jekel, Workforce Development Director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, has been hired by the Office of the Governor to serve as Senior Policy Advisor for Labor. In her new position, she will perform policy planning, analysis, development and implementation consistent with the governor’s priorities, and work closely with union organizations, businesses, state agencies and legislators on various labor issues. She will begin her new position in April.

As WSLC Workforce Development Director, Jekel has been a direct advocate for working families. From initial entry, to career transition and when facing job loss, she has sought to ensure workers have multiple pathways to good jobs. When layoff can’t be avoided, she has helped affected workers access job training and reemployment program opportunities. She has worked closely with fellow WSLC Workforce Development Directors Bill MessengerKairie Pierce and Emmanuel Flores, and Workforce Development Coordinator Karen White.

“It has been a real honor to have spent the last nine years serving our state’s workforce development system,” Jekel said. “My colleagues at WSLC and fellow statewide practitioners offer hope to workers in an otherwise bleak time facing job loss and company closure. A number of you have welcomed me to the table in your efforts to build and expand workforce training programs — exciting projects creating economic advancement for your members and new pathways to union jobs. My heart will always be with this work.”

“Caitlyn has been a key part of the WSLC workforce development team in Olympia and we are sorry to see her go,” said WSLC President Larry Brown. “Having worked with her here and also having relied on her expertise in my former position with Machinists District 751, I can tell you that the Governor’s Office has made an outstanding choice. I know Caitlyn will do a fantastic job in her new role, and I am pleased that we will continue to work with her on important labor issues that she’s passionate about.”

Before joining the WSLC staff in 2010, Caitlyn was a Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker Counselor at WorkSource Grays Harbor in Aberdeen. She is a graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at The Evergreen State College and a native Minnesotan.

“Heading into this new role, I am eager to engage with labor organizations in this new capacity and on a broader slate of issues,” Jekel said. “I look forward to our continued partnership.”

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