National Workforce Development group recognizes Sandy Harmsen for outstanding performance in a challenging environment

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (July 23, 2014)—The County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board announced today that their Executive Director, Sandy Harmsen, has been named by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) as the 2014 recipient of its Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in a challenging environment.

NAWDP, a professional development organization with more than 3,500 members nationwide, recognizes individuals each year who have shown outstanding leadership in the workforce development field. The award was presented as part of the 2014 Advancing the Profession Awards celebration at the association’s annual conference in Denver on May 5.

Harmsen was recognized this year for her willingness to take on challenges. During her tenure as Director, she has overcome budget cuts, sequestration and, most recently, a government shutdown. While some Workforce Investment Boards laid off staff and were forced to reduce services to their residents, Sandy’s leadership allowed all America’s Job Centers of California in San Bernardino County to remain open and fully staffed.

NAWDP named Sandy because of her ability to motivate people in the midst of adversity, inspiring staff to work hard and change lives.  She believes in the mission of the County Board of Supervisors and the Workforce Investment Board and has been instrumental in breaking down silos and leveraging funding to bring the local community together in a collaborative effort to serve the citizens of San Bernardino County.  Under Sandy’s guidance, the Workforce Investment Board has excelled and been recognized as being innovative and progressive in workforce programs at the local, state, and national levels.

“Sandy is a tremendous advocate for employers and jobseekers in our County,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford said. “Under her leadership, the Workforce Investment Board continues to develop innovative programs targeted to assist residents in building necessary skills to secure employment.”
Harmsen is a leader among leaders and workforce professionals, according to the NAWDP announcement, making her an ideal recipient for the 2014 Leadership Award.

About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County
The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County (WIB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors.  The Workforce Investment Board strives to strengthen the skills of the County’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing county resources, which generate jobs and investment.

The Workforce Investment Board, through the County of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the County’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.
Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Investment Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit
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About the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals
The NAWDP is a professional association for individual practitioners in workforce development programs with over 3,500 members nationwide. Its mission is to enhance the professional development of its members, and to be the national voice of its profession. It has recognized individual excellence in workforce development through its Advancement of the Profession Awards since 1991.