OLYMPIA (Feb. 9, 2024) — Kairie Pierce, Lead Workforce Development Director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, has announced she is leaving the WSLC after more than 33 years of service in multiple positions at the council. She has accepted a new position with the Washington State Department of Commerce as the Innovation Workforce Sector Lead.
Pierce has focused her career at the WSLC on increasing awareness about apprenticeship and job training, as well as volunteer opportunities on Washington’s community and technical college advisory committees and other state boards and commissions.
“Working for the Washington State Labor Council for over 33 years has been a profoundly rewarding journey,” Pierce said. “My time here has been dedicated to advancing the rights and well-being of workers across our state. As I step away, I carry with me a deep sense of gratitude for the incredible colleagues, allies, and friends who have made this work not just a profession, but a passion.”
Pierce first joined the WSLC in 1990 as Claims Coordinator for the Project HELP program, providing education about Washington’s workers’ compensation system and assisting injured workers with their claims. In 2005, her focus shifted to working with community and technical colleges to ensure industry needs were understood and aligned with colleges’ priorities.
In 2010, Pierce was named the WSLC’s K-12 Apprenticeship Director and worked with unions and workforce development leaders to create and promote more apprenticeship opportunities in family-wage careers. Two years later, she became Workforce Development Director and was named to lead that department in 2020.
“Kairie played a critical role in the creation, growth and effectiveness of our Workforce Development Department,” said WSLC President April Sims. “Her legacy of service includes innovative leadership, the ability to build coalitions, and her dedication to improving the lives of Washington’s workers. The Department of Commerce is lucky to have her. The WSLC and our affiliated unions wish her well.”