File #: 2022-1354   
Type: Appointment Status: Passed
File created: 11/14/2022 In control: Human Services
On agenda: 1/10/2023 Final action: 1/10/2023
Title: Approve Re-Appointments to the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board
Department or Agency Name(s): Human Services
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Proposed WIB Membership

To: Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): Human Services

Staff Name and Phone Number: Katie Greaves, 707-565-8501

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): Countywide




Approve Re-Appointments to the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Approve the Re-Appointments of Ethan Brown, Erin Carlson, Brandy Evans, Scott Kincaid, George Steffensen, Ananda Sweet, Michael Pickens, Audra Verrier, and David Wayte to the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board for a two-year term beginning January 10, 2023, and ending January 9, 2025.



Executive Summary:

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federal law designed to prepare youth and adults for entry into the labor force. The Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and its American Job Center of California (AJCC), Job Link, provides support to both Sonoma County job seekers and businesses.


WIOA requires all local regions to create a board comprised of local business and community members to oversee and implement WIOA Title I programs. It also requires the appointment of a policy oversight body, and the Sonoma County WIB serves in this capacity for Sonoma County.  The Human Services Department (HSD) is requesting the reappointments of nine current WIB members.



The Employment and Training Division of the HSD runs Sonoma County Job Link, where the public can access basic career search offerings such as workshops and job fairs. There are more intensive services offered to connect those looking for training, education, and work through WIOA programs. Employers can access Job Link Business Services including funding specifically for different types of workforce training.


The WIB serves as the policy oversight body for Sonoma County Employment and Training programs. In accordance with the written agreement between the Board of Supervisors and the WIB, the WIB reviews and approves candidates’ applications for membership and forwards its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for final approval and appointment.


The WIB consists of member categories in compliance with WIOA regulations. Business seats must make up the majority of membership and are comprised of representatives in the local area who are either owners, chief executives, or operating officers; those that represent businesses that provide employment opportunities that include high-quality, work-relevant training and development in the in-demand industry sectors or occupations; or those that are appointed from individuals nominated by local business organizations and business trade associations. There are 14 business seats on the WIB representing 50% of the Board.


Not less than 20% of the members of each local board must be representatives of the workforce within the local area, including representatives of labor organizations, apprenticeships, community-based organizations that have experience and expertise in addressing the employment needs of individuals with barriers to employment, and representatives of organizations that have demonstrated experience and expertise in addressing the employment, training, or education needs of youth. Within this workforce representative category, a minimum of 15% of the seats must represent labor organizations. There are seven workforce representative member seats on the WIB, constituting 25% of the Board. Five of these seats represent labor, constituting 18% of the Board.


Each local board must include representatives of entities administering education and training activities, including those administering adult education and literacy activities; representatives of institutions of higher education, including community colleges; and representatives of local educational agencies and community-based organizations addressing the education or training needs of individuals with barriers to employment. There are two education and training seats on the WIB.


Each local board must include representatives of governmental, economic and community development entities, including an appropriate representative from the state employment service office; an appropriate representative of the programs carried out under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; representatives of agencies administering transportation, housing, and public assistance programs; a representative of economic and community development entities; and representatives of philanthropic organizations serving the local area. There are currently three governmental, economic and community development seats on the WIB.


The WIB seeks business members who have expertise in Sonoma County’s important or emerging employment sectors such as health care, hospitality, and the building and trades. Applications are reviewed by the WIB’s Executive Committee and are then recommended to the Board of Supervisors for appointment. Current members in good standing are recommended for reappointment at the end of their term.


Efforts to fill the WIB seats are ongoing through referrals from current members and outreach to businesses, the public, workforce, and private nonprofit organizations. HSD also works closely with the Economic Development Board to identify business members appropriate for the business seats on the WIB.


Member Re-Appointments

Staff recommends reappointment of Ethan Brown, Erin Carlson, Brandy Evans, Scott Kincaid, George Steffensen, Ananda Sweet, Michael Pickens, Audra Verrier, and David Wayte to the WIB.


Ethan Brown is the Interim Executive Director for the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. As a primary point of contact for local government, business, and community partners, he manages community economic development and redevelopment programs including: business attraction and retention programs, nonprofit grants management, contract administration, business technical assistance services, microenterprise development, economic development finance, revolving loan fund administration, improvement programs, project management, budgeting and analysis, public policy development, and workforce development training programs. Mr. Brown fills a Governmental, Economic, and Community Development seat on the WIB.


Erin Carlson is the Director of Human Resources for Petaluma and Rohnert Park Health Centers. In her role, she is responsible for assisting the company with ideas to resolve the workforce issues facing Sonoma County, which include housing, transportation, and child care as obstacles to employment. Ms. Carlson thrives on problem solving and she was inspired to join the WIB to offer innovative ideas to help solve issues. Ms. Carlson fills one of the fourteen Business seats on the WIB.


Brandy Evans has been with Goodwill Industries for many years and is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Evans has a varied employment background which includes construction, real estate and long-term health care. She is the current WIB Chair-Elect. Ms. Evans fills one of the fourteen Business seats on the WIB. 


Scott Kincaid joined Facility Development Corporation in 2012 as its Chief Financial Officer and Director of Project Development. Previously, Mr. Kincaid worked in commercial lending as Senior Vice President and Senior Loan Officer with First Community Bank. During his banking career, Mr. Kincaid focused on commercial and real estate financing and custom residential financing. He has served in leadership capacities on the WIB and Sonoma County Alliance Board, and has participated in the Sonoma County Innovation Action Council and Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps. Mr. Kincaid fills one of the fourteen Business seats on the WIB. 


Michael Pickens is the District Representative for Operating Engineers Local 3, having been a member for over 22 years. He is a heavy equipment mechanic/welder by trade and a graduate of Operating Engineers Local 3 apprenticeship program. He has been a Union representative for over a decade. His experience working at the Local 3 training center as an instructor and apprentice coordinator gives him a wealth of knowledge that he can apply to workforce issues. Mr. Pickens fills one of the five Workforce-Labor Representative seats on the WIB.


George Steffensen is active with the Trade Introduction Program (North Bay TIP). He joined the Operating Engineers Union in 1981 as an apprentice and he became a journeyman in 1985. He worked on several projects in Sonoma County for a number of local contractors including Don Dowd Co., Argonaut Constructors and Ghilotti Construction. In 1990 he was employed by the Operating Engineers Union and held many positions including dispatcher, Business Agent, District Representative and the Apprenticeship Coordinator. Mr. Steffensen fills one of the five Workforce-Labor Representative seats on the WIB.


Ananda Sweet is the Economic and Workforce Development Manager at the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber and administers a variety of programs including the Worksite Held Employee English Learning program, the Mike Hauser Academy for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and the Latinos in the Workplace Conference. This work is in collaboration with local private, public and nonprofit sectors to support workforce development, including programs that promote early childhood development and family-friendly workplace policies. Ms. Sweet fills one of the fourteen Business seats on the WIB.


David Wayte is the Regional Administrator for the California Department of Rehabilitation in the Redwood Empire District, which serves the coastal regions of California from Napa to the Oregon Border. The mission of the Department of Rehab is to assist disabled Californians to obtain and retain employment and to maximize their ability to live independently. Mr. Wayte fills a required Governmental, Economic, and Community Development seat on the WIB.


Audra Verrier is the Career Center Coordinator at Sonoma State University. In her role, she supports the future workforce in our county and local region. She has over 19 years of experience in administration of programs and services that support adult learning and development to increase education, skills, and knowledge to enhance professional lives. She is also an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity. Ms. Verrier fills one of the three Education seats on the WIB.


Prior Board Actions:

August 9, 2022: Appointed one new member to the WIB

June 13, 2022: Reappointed three members to the WIB

March 22, 2022: Appointed one new member to the WIB

October 26, 2021: Reappointed eight members to the WIB

June 8, 2021: Appointed one new member and reappointed nine members to the WIB


Fiscal Summary


FY 22-23 Adopted

FY 23-24 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




Proposed Workforce Investment Board Membership Roster


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: