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VT Labor Commissioner elected as chair-elect for national workforce association

October 18, 2022

Montpelier, Vt. – Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington was elected to serve as chair-elect for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 year. Harrington was elected to the position by NASWA members, which represent states and U.S. territories nationwide. 

“The pandemic changed the game for state workforce agencies”, said Harrington. “NASWA has been there every step of the way providing leadership, support, and technical assistance to each and every state and their constituents. It was this commitment that drove my interest in serving and I am truly honored to be able to represent this organization and the various state members at the executive committee level.” 

Harrington joined the Department of Labor in January 2017 as deputy commissioner and was appointed commissioner in June 2020. Prior to state government, he served as the Economic and Community Development Director for the Town of Bennington, Vt. Harrington has also held various roles in the private sector and in higher education and has served on a number of municipal and non-profit boards in a volunteer capacity. In 2013 he was inducted into the Vermont Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 class.  

Harrington served as secretary of the NASWA board from 2021-2022, and his term as chair-elect began on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Harrington will go on to serve as chair of the NASWA board beginning in September of 2023. 

NASWA is a national member-based organization that represents all 53 states and U.S. territories in the areas of workforce development, unemployment insurance, labor market information, and fair labor standards. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares effective state practices, and promotes state innovation and staff development, in addition to providing direct assistance to members states.

NASWA announced its 2022-2023 Board of Directors on October 3, 2022. Read NASWA’s full press release below, or at


WASHINGTON -- The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) announced the election of the 2023 association year board of directors. NASWA membership, which represents state and U.S. territory workforce agencies nationwide, selected 15 new board members and 10 alternate members to represent its regions, including a five-member executive committee. The board’s duties are to direct the business of the association.

“I’m excited to work with all of these outstanding professionals in their newly-elected roles to guide NASWA forward during the upcoming year,” NASWA President and CEO Scott B. Sanders said. “NASWA board members spearhead the workforce development efforts across the country and their talent and expertise in this arena are second to none.”

Executive Committee Members of the Board:
•    Chair – Dr. Tamika Ledbetter, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development 
•    Chair-Elect – Michael Harrington, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Labor 
•    Past Chair – Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development 
•    Secretary – Lynda Parven, Administrator, Employment Security Division, Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation 
•    Treasurer – John Albin, Commissioner, Nebraska Department of Labor 

Board of Directors, listed by NASWA region:
•    Region 1: Director - Sarah Morrissey, Director, Operations and Employment Services Bureau, New Hampshire Employment Security; Alternate - Laura Fortman, Commissioner, Maine Department of Labor 
•    Region 2: Director - Nesha Christian-Hendrickson, Assistant Commissioner/Legal Counsel, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor; Alternate - Daryle Dudzinski, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Labor 
•    Region 3: Director - Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director, Washington D.C. Department of Employment Services; Alternate - William Walton, Deputy Commissioner for Unemployment Insurance, Virginia Employment Commission 
•    Region 4: Director - Buddy Hoskinson, Executive Director, Office of Unemployment Insurance, Kentucky Labor Cabinet; Alternate - Adrienne Johnston, Deputy Secretary, Workforce Services, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity 
•    Region 5: Director - Brad Barger, Assistant Director, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; Alternate - Stephanie Beckhorn, Director, Employment & Training, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity 
•    Region 6: Director - Ava Cates, Secretary, Louisiana Workforce Commission; Alternate - Ed Serna, Executive Director, Texas Workforce Commission 
•    Region 7: Director - Amber Shultz, Secretary, Kansas Department of Labor; Alternate - Dr. Mardy Leathers, Director, Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development 
•    Region 8: Director - Laurie Esau, Commissioner, Montana Department of Labor and Industry; Alternate - Joe Barela, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor & Employment 
•    Region 9: Director - Anna Hunter, Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Economic Security; Alternate - Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, Director, Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations 
•    Region 10: Director - David Gerstenfeld, Acting Executive Director, Oregon Employment Department; Alternate - Cami Feek, Commissioner, Washington State Employment Security Department 

Incoming executive committee and board members assumed their respective posts upon election at the Annual Membership Meeting during the 2022 NASWA SUMMIT, Sept. 21, 2022. All positions serve a one-year term, except the treasurer, who serves two years.