The Laurie Moran Partnership Award
This year, NAWB introduced a new award, the Laurie Moran Partnership Award, given jointly to a workforce development board and chamber of commerce that have formed a significant partnership to advance the workforce and economic development of their local region. The Partnership Award is named in honor of Laurie Moran, who served on the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board from 2001 to 2016, and was President of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce from 2002 until her passing. She was a member of the Board of the National Association of Workforce Boards from 2004 to 2015, serving as Chair from 2011 to 2013.
The first Laurie Moran Partnership Award Winner is South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance and Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance. Although separate entities, the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board and Maury Alliance (the chamber of commerce for the county) have been close and strategic partners since both organizations began in the early 2000s. Shared board and committee membership, including members of the private and public sector, has paved the way for common mission and goals – ensuring the region produces a world class workforce, capable of meeting the needs of existing business and industry, and exceeding the expectations of new industry. The partnership has made tremendous strides in aligning education with workforce needs through streamlining the pathway to post-secondary training in fields such as engineering systems technology, industrial maintenance, and machining/PLC technology.