Chamber COO Appointed to National Workforce Panel to Advise Biden Administration on Economic Recovery Policies

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and West Alabama Works are pleased to announce that Donny Jones has been appointed by National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) to serve on a national Manufacturing Panel that will advise the Biden administration on its “Made in All of America” initiative and related policies.

Jones, along with other workforce development leaders from across the country who are participating in the panel, will meet in the coming months with Biden administration officials at the Department of Commerce, as well as Congressional leadership to help shape federal recovery policies for the manufacturing industry.

“We want to ensure that federal recovery efforts support the businesses and workers most impacted by the pandemic, particularly workers of color, women, and workers with a high school degree or less,” said Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of National Skills Coalition. “We know that skills training alone will not ensure an inclusive recovery, but we also know that it must be part of our nation’s federal policy response. If we want those policies to succeed, industry leaders must help shape them.”

NSC and BLU convened a total of four recovery panels for the following industries: HealthcareManufacturingInfrastructure, and Retail/Hospitality.

Different industries have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. The goal of the industry recovery panels is to ensure that federal recovery initiatives include investments in job training and support services that workers and businesses need to adapt to the structural shifts within their industries.

“Having an available and prepared workforce will be the most critical component of our nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Jones, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and Executive Director of West Alabama Works. “I am honored to be able to tell the West Alabama Works story on a national stage and advise our federal leaders on the critical importance of being innovative with workforce development initiatives.”

The Industry Recovery Panel initiative is supported in part by Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Microsoft.