Celebrating A Legacy of Leaning into Career Connected Learning 2022

Published On: July 12th, 2022|Categories: News|
Celebrating A Legacy of Leaning into Career Connected Learning 2022

The North Central Career Connect Washington Network was launched in 2019 to empower our local communities with the resources, tools and connections needed to close skill gaps for employers and help young people connect their education and training to promising future careers.

In the final part of this series, we celebrate a local leader whose commitment to workforce development and equity has inspired and challenged our regional network to dream boldly about what might be possible and then work collaboratively to bring those dreams to reality.

The 2022 Legacy Awardee is Brenda Reagan, Human Resources Manager for the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) based in Wenatchee. The CCW Legacy Award is intended to recognize one person whose career impact has been profound and will have a lasting legacy in North Central Washington.

Brenda Reagan, Human Resources Manager, Washington Department of Transportation

Brenda has been with WSDOT since 2008 where she has developed tremendous insight into the evolution of operations across Central Washington since then. When the Career Connected Washington efforts started to take shape, Brenda’s knowledge and experience quickly put her at the top of the list when there were questions about what Career Connected Learning could look like and which skills would help young people to become competitive candidates.

The regional network collaborations take a variety of shapes across the region, and local employers, educators and community-based partners are encouraged to lean into Career Connected Learning in whatever capacity they can.

There are meaningful ways to contribute to the collective impact of the regional network in one hour, for example hosting a site-visit or providing a guest presentation for a classroom. With more time and resources, there are more comprehensive opportunities to make an impact, such as hosting an intern or building a new apprenticeship program.

All of these options are valuable and they bring dimensions to the career exploration and preparation paths available to local youth. The really neat thing about Brenda Reagan and WSDOT, is that they’ve participated at every level and they’ve taught the region a few things about what success looks like along the way.

“I am pleased that Brenda Reagan has been nominated for this award. She has been very focused on supporting the Career Connect Washington Network. WSDOT has identified the need for workforce development efforts because of a shortage of available workers in engineering and skilled trades. Brenda has engaged with the Career Connect program, including supporting their visits and tours of WSDOT facilities, along with arranging for employees to share about their work, experiences, and workforce needs with Career Connect. WSDOT is also striving to have an inclusive workforce that reflects our communities, which aligns with Career Connect’s goals. WSDOT has been pleased to work with Career Connect, and appreciates the work Brenda has done to facilitate this partnership.” – Dave Bierschbach, WDOT Region Administration

Over the last three years, Brenda has championed this work by discussing career fairs, participating in interviews and site tours, and providing internships and apprenticeships. She has been an invaluable partner who can point to dozens of individuals who have grown and developed various career paths through WSDOT. She beams with pride when she shares about colleagues who come into the WSDOT through entry-level positions and have since advanced to positions of leadership within the Department of Transportation.

Young people across the region have greatly benefited from these actions. Youth have been impacted by Brenda’s efforts whether they received advice about interviewing and soft skills during a presentation she gave, found inspiration in learning how their skills were needed and valued, or found their first paid work experience through the High School to Highways program. She has shined a light on what is possible for North Central Washington and the regional network looks forward to celebrating her legacy for years to come.

Virtual Meet the Employer: WSDOT with Brenda Reagan

More 2022 Career Connected Learning Awards

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Celebrating A Legacy of Leaning into Career Connected Learning 2022