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WSLC Workforce Development Department’s ‘Labor Leader Spotlight’ recognizes those who are promoting good jobs and careers


OLYMPIA (June 28, 2023) — The Workforce Development Department of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO aims to help jobseekers find work and employers fill jobs by utilizing a complex network of federal, state and regional programs.

They do this important work alongside many other union leaders in Washington state who dedicate their time and energy toward making the workforce development system more efficient and effective. And these leaders often do this critical work with little or no recognition.

That’s why the WSLC just launched a new Labor Leaders Spotlight feature on its Workforce Development Department’s active and growing LinkedIn and Facebook pages. (Make sure you follow them!) The idea is to give some recognition to the labor leaders who work behind the scenes to help so many working families build better lives.

Their latest posting:

Meet Rebecca, Spokane Workforce Council board member and IATSE leader! Keep reading to learn about her first work experience and why she’s a union leader active in workforce development.

The WSLC Workforce Development Department will be regularly highlighting labor leaders who play important roles in shaping the workforce system and giving workers access to good jobs and rewarding careers. Join us in celebrating their contributions! Thanks for all you do, Rebecca Cook!

Q&A with Rebecca

Q: What was your first job and what did it teach you about work?

A: My first regular wage job was at Walk in the Wild Zoo. I worked in the concession stand and the dinosaur exhibit. I learned a lot about working as a team and how many layers there are to something that seems so simple – accounting, inventory, price mark-ups, employee scheduling, managing volunteers, etc. And how each piece impacts another. Add onto that a ton of information about working with animals and a non-profit organization. I was fortunate to have supervisors who allowed me to learn everything because I always need to know how things work.

Q: What drives you in your role as a union leader in workforce development?

A: It all boils down to a desire to help people and to make sure the playing field is fair. I’m a middle child, so I have an overdeveloped sense of fairness that drives me to try and make each aspect of the work as level as we can – equitable access, treatment, pay, and benefits are so important to me.

A big thanks to Laurel Poplack, Administrative Assistant to the WSLC Workforce Development Department, for her editing and design expertise in making the Labor Leader Spotlight happen.

Do you know of a workforce development labor leader deserving of the spotlight? Let us know!

To learn more, follow the WSLC Workforce Development Department on LinkedIn and Facebook or visit the WSLC Workforce Development Department webpage.


WSLC Wednesdays is a feature of The Stand where different departments of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO describe their recent activities and the services they are providing to WSLC-affiliated unions.

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