EXTON, PA — The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) announced organizational changes to respond to the transformed needs of local businesses as they rebuild from COVID-19.
CCEDC, which has served the business community for more than 60 years, is announcing several new and realigned positions that include a focus on workforce development, technology, youth and diversity, equity and inclusion.
“After a year of extraordinary job losses across the nation, economists are predicting an ongoing hiring surge for the remainder of 2021, if the economy expands at the 6.5% pace expected by the Fed,” says Gary Smith, CCEDC’s President and CEO. “CCEDC has been preparing for this, and will always adapt to support the changing needs of the businesses we serve.”
CCEDC is now devoting a management position solely to workforce development. Patti VanCleave, who has served as Project Director for CCEDC’s STEM and youth activities, is now Vice President, Workforce Development and STEM, where she will lead CCEDC’s efforts to help employers source and train the talent they need to rebuild and grow in southeastern Pennsylvania. This includes upskilling workers and matching them to the right employers, as she oversees CCEDC’s energy, manufacturing and health care industry partnerships.
Marianne Stack has been promoted to Project Director, where she will provide leadership and oversight to CCEDC’s Innovative Technology Action Group (ITAG), which serves more than 160 companies in the region’s technology industry. Stack has long served ITAG as a project manager.
Tracey Oberholtzer has been promoted to IP Events and STEM Programs Manager. In addition to managing signature events for CCEDC’s Industry Partnerships, Tracey will assume increased responsibility for CCEDC’s youth programming, including Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology, STEM Summer Academies and much more. She will continue to work closely with all industry partners and their volunteer leadership to prepare and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.
CCEDC is also dedicating a position to diversity, equity and inclusion. Marrea Walker-Smith, who has supported CCEDC as a Project Consultant for STEM youth activities, is now also CCEDC’s STEM and DE&I Consultant, where she will lead organization-wide efforts to better serve, represent and engage individuals of all backgrounds.
Patrick Hayakawa will now serve as Vice President, Innovation and Marketing. He’ll continue to oversee CCCEDC’s tech programs, including the Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n) and ITAG, as he takes on management of CCEDC’s marketing, communications and media relations strategies to further elevate awareness of CCEDC’s brand.
Says COO Mike Grigalonis, “One positive outcome of the tragedy of COVID-19 is that businesses and public agencies are realizing they can’t just keep doing business as usual. We have to be adaptive and positioned for change. Our entire team has proved to be adaptable and nimble this past year, and these new positions allow us to be ready for what’s next.”