Heather has served as Executive Director for the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA) for 11 years. The DWA is a non-profit organization facilitating community labour market development. The DWA works closely with the community to provide industry research focused on commuting patterns, median wage comparisons, and other labour market indicators. She leads one of the eight pilot sites for a Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC). The LEPC pilots are intended to improve local labour market conditions through the provision of research and labour market information to drive innovation in service delivery based on solid, local evidence. A more strategic approach to workforce planning is becoming increasingly important to assist organizations, regions and communities respond to a variety of factors, such as an aging workforce, current and projected labor shortages, a desire to increase productivity, and the evolution of technology and tools. The DWA leads a shed survey, examining essential and employability skills for labour supply and demand in Durham Region. Other projects include the Durham Under 30 Survey, ethnography, and a services software app. Active in her community, Heather is a founding member of Durham Region’s Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council and a board member for Durham’s food distribution hub Feed the Need Durham. Heather is a board member of two provincial organizations, ONESTEP and the Francophone Workforce Development Council. Her commitment to community has been recognized with Ontario’s Volunteer Service Award, a Business Woman of Durham Award, and a nomination for the 2015 Connect Woman of the Year.
The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at as.pn/eofn.