Chester County’s Stephanie Smith Honored with Workforce Phoenix Award

Stephanie Smith, Workforce Phoenix AwardWorkforce Phoenix Award recipient Stephanie Smith (left) is pictured with Chester County Department of Workforce Development Director Jeannette Roman. /Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — Stephanie Smith, Workforce Development Manager at the Chester County Department of Workforce Development (DWD), has been awarded the prestigious Workforce Phoenix Award by the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA). This accolade recognizes her outstanding contributions to workforce development initiatives in Chester County.

The Chester County Commissioners—Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz, and Eric Roe—praised Smith’s efforts in a joint statement. “Our Department of Workforce Development provides services that support both individuals seeking work and career opportunities, and employers looking for skilled, professional employees,” they said. “Stephanie has spearheaded many projects that bridge the gap between job seekers and employers, helping to keep Chester County’s business community successful and economy robust. Stephanie’s dedication and enthusiasm is appreciated here in Chester County, and we are especially proud that her work has been recognized at the state level.”

The Workforce Phoenix Award honors a Pennsylvania workforce development professional who demonstrates innovation and leadership, acts as a change-maker, and provides excellent service to others. Smith’s recognition highlights her role in fostering partnerships and creating opportunities for both individuals and businesses.

Jeannette Roman, Director of the Chester County Department of Workforce Development, highlighted Smith’s approach. “Stephanie’s ‘people-first’ approach fosters partnerships with local businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and community organizations across the region. She empowers employers and individuals by providing the skills and support they need because she understands both the challenges and opportunities they face. Most importantly, Stephanie leads by example with positivity, good humor, and grace.”

The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) played a key role in Smith’s nomination. Gary Smith, CEO of CCEDC, remarked, “Chester County government and the CCEDC have created the national model for a true public-private partnership when it comes to workforce development. For more than 30 years, we’ve said economic development is workforce development. It’s what our employers have demanded, and we provide it, working as a team. So this really felt like a win for the team because Stephanie and her colleagues with the County are critical members of the public sector who unite with CCEDC, as we bring private sector employers to the table to match with employees.”

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Smith began her career in workforce development in 2009. She joined Chester County in 2014, initially serving as a program coordinator at PA CareerLink® Chester County. She later moved to the Chester County Department of Community Development as a workforce coordinator before advancing to her current role as a workforce manager at DWD.

Elevating Workforce Success: The Impact of Stephanie Smith’s Innovations

This award not only celebrates Smith’s individual achievements but also highlights the importance of effective workforce development programs. By connecting job seekers with employers, these initiatives strengthen the local economy and ensure that businesses have access to skilled professionals. This collaborative approach is essential for maintaining a robust economic landscape.

The implications of such recognition extend beyond Chester County. It highlights the need for strong public-private partnerships in workforce development. These collaborations can serve as models for other regions aiming to address employment challenges and foster economic growth. The success in Chester County demonstrates how dedicated professionals like Smith can drive meaningful change, benefiting both individuals and the broader community.

In conclusion, Stephanie Smith’s receipt of the Workforce Phoenix Award symbolizes her commitment and impact in the field of workforce development. Her work embodies the principles of innovation, leadership, and collaboration, setting a high standard for others in the industry. The award also highlights the significant role that effective workforce development plays in economic sustainability and community well-being.

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