Thomas Nelson Workforce Development Partner Awarded 2013 Chancellor’s Award

Shawn Avery, vice president of the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, was awarded the 2013 Virginia Community Colleges Chancellor’s Award in the Career Paths category on December 12.

The award was presented at the annual Hire Education Workforce Conference Innovator’s Award Show and Banquet. This year’s conference was attended by more than 400 workforce professionals from colleges, workforce boards, industry, and schools.  Virginia’s Community Colleges hosted the event.

Nominated by Thomas Nelson Community College Workforce Development, Avery had a major impact in the success of the partnership between Thomas Nelson and the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, which recently resulted in four career pathway grants totaling more than $5.5 million. 

“Shawn is an exceptional leader of a strategic plan for industry-education career pathways that is already seeing results,” stated Dr. Deborah Wright, vice president of Thomas Nelson Workforce Development. “His understanding of business needs and economic development, K-12 and community college program capacity and possibility, and workforce board priorities has made an invaluable difference in allied health and advanced manufacturing career pathways.”

The Chancellor’s Awards are designed to recognize outstanding contributions made by workforce development professionals in support of the college’s mission in serving Virginia’s workforce and community. 

Through Avery’s efforts, the partnership between Thomas Nelson and the Peninsula Council produced a career pathway training strategy designed to meet the regional needs of 11,000 additional workers in advanced manufacturing, a strategic training plan for the region in Allied Health, and a proposal that awarded the region $5 million in health occupation training funds.

In addition, Avery was fundamental in developing a career pathway electronic library in manufacturing, allied health and numerous Career Cafés in the Peninsula. The Career Cafés provide career pathway advice to more than 5,000 young adults in the region.

Recently, Avery led the effort to help Thomas Nelson receive more than $240,000 in grant funds to support a manufacturing training program, along with Workforce Investment Act, to serve recently separated veterans.

“Business-education partnerships happen on the Peninsula because of strong partners,” stated Avery. “It is a great honor that Thomas Nelson nominated me for this award.”

Avery was awarded the Virginia Community College System’s Expanding Workforce Opportunities Award in 2010.