2019 Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County

Ramsey County Workforce Innovation Board

The goals of the Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County (WIB) are in alignment with Ramsey County’s goals of well-being, prosperity, opportunity and accountability. The WIB supports the mission and services of Workforce Solutions and the business community’s need for qualified job seekers by championing Ramsey County’s goals for a vibrant community where everyone is valued and prosperous. 

WIB members are appointed by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and the Mayor of Saint Paul. Their work is key to workforce success and economic prosperity in Ramsey County. The WIB uses its collective power and influence to drive policy that will fulfill our area employers’ needs for a skilled workforce.

WIB - by column (bottom to top):
Left:  Karin McCabe (Chair), Lisa Guetzkow, Kristen Guild, Mary Russell, Chad Kulas (Chair-elect), Elena Gaarder, Don Mullin
Middle left:  Carly Voshell, Brooke Walker, James McClean
Middle right: Sheila Olson, Shannon Watson, Koami Pedado
Right:  Ling Becker, Tracy Wilson, Cindy Larson, Sean Mullan, Tanya Velishek, Paul Nikstad, Ramona Wilson  

Workforce Innovation Board Executive Committee

Executive Committee (l to r):
Commissioner Toni Carter, Mary Russell, Chad Kulas, Paul Nikstad (Chair-elect), Karin McCabe (Chair), Ling Becker, Sean Mullan

Featured WIB Member

Shannon Watson, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

Shannon Watson, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

Shannon moved to Saint Paul in December of 2010 for a job at the Minnesota Senate, after growing up in Kansas and living and working in Denver at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She stayed after she fell in love with the culture of civic involvement here, from our status as the state with the highest voting turnout to the philanthropy that is engrained into the history of our business community.  Shannon currently serves as the Director of Public Affairs, which means the chamber’s political, policy, lobbying, strategic communications and media relations work is all her my portfolio.

When asked about the challenges and opportunities that currently exist around workforce development she cites, “The interconnectivity of workforce to other policy areas – education, housing, transportation, childcare. All of our systems are intertwined and having an issue with just one area can make getting ahead almost impossible.”

Shannon enjoys serving on the WIB because it is a place where the public, private and nonprofit sectors come together to solve challenges. She especially appreciates the employers in the room – while attending the meetings is part of her job, they are taking time away from their businesses and investing that time in the community. She acknowledges their involvement is a sacrifice and an investment that should be celebrated.