Donnovan Beckford, Director of Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Baord honored at 26th Anual Brotherhood BreakfastWhite Plains, NY – Donnovan Beckford, Director of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, was honored at the 26th Annual Brotherhood Breakfast co-hosted by the Business Council of Westchester and African American Men of Westchester.

Beckford received The Harold Fitzpatrick Community Leadership Award for his innovative and visionary approach to improving the job environment for both employers and employees throughout Westchester and Putnam.

The breakfast, held on Oct. 27, was attended by more than 200 members of the business community. Wiley Harrison of the African American Men of Westchester welcomed the attendees and Dr. Marsha Gordon of the Business Council and Eric Eller, President of the African American Men of Westchester, introduced the program for the morning which included a panel discussion on recruiting, engaging and retaining millennials in today’s workforce.

Beckford’s focus as Director of the Workforce Development Board of Westchester-Putnam is to oversee the many programs through the Board that assist both job seekers and employers with the goal of creating a robust economy for both counties. He was specifically chosen for the community leadership award for his innovative approach in building relationships between community stakeholders including higher education, economic development groups and businesses both large and small. His visionary leadership has resulted in generating public funding for several local and regional workforce and economic development projects like “Jobs Waiting, Just Add One, READI. His career spans education, not for profit and public sector management. He holds an MBA from CUNY-Baruch College, Zicklin Business School and a BA in Computer Science from Lehman College.

His passion for the work and desire to go beyond the traditional boundaries has resulted in federal, state and local funding that includes a $10 million Ready to Work Healthcare Regional Grant. Beckford serves on the board of directors for several organizations including The Early Care Learning Council, Theodore Young Community Center, National Council on Alcohol and the NYS Economic Development Council where he co-chairs a newly formed workforce committee.

During his acceptance speech, Beckford noted that the Workforce Development Board Jobs Waiting program has received two federal grants totaling more than $14 million to meet the needs of healthcare, technology and advance manufacturing. He also highlighted the new Career Pathways initiative which will provide resources to help low skilled individuals acquire major levels of education and skill development to fit them into high paying jobs in targeted industries across both counties; and he mentioned several youth training programs that will teach occupational and soft skills to ready them for the workplace.

“To ensure the success of the various programs we oversee; we need greater involvement from local businesses to help us strengthen a demand driven system. We invite businesses to join our sector partnerships to help identify critical workforce needs and appropriate solutions. We will also continue to strengthen our community partnerships with post-secondary and higher education allies to ensure we are meeting the needs of students and those ready to enter the workforce,” stated Beckford. He also noted that the Just Add One program, recently honored with the 2016 NYATEP Workforce Program Award, assists entrepreneurs with training to improve their business operation and hire at least one new employee through a ten-week program that includes workshops and peer-to-peer mentoring. The next Just Add One program will begin in January and applications are now being accepted.

The Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board provides an environment where job seekers and employers interact to meet the needs for a highly qualified regional workforce. The WPWDB seeks to strengthen partnerships with business sectors, service providers and the public education system to offer career services and various training modalities to youth and adults. Seeking innovative solutions driven by regional business needs, WPWDB develops model programs, pursues funding opportunities, and shares leading edge practices. The One-Stop Career Centers are physical locations that provide resources and services to job-seekers to assist in their job search and development and or career change. The centers are staffed by a wide cross section of staff drawn from the one stop centers partnering agencies. The centers offer a wide range of services and state-of-the-art equipment that is used to train customers to fit into the future workforce.

Workforce Development Board


Picture in upper left
Staff of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Board Career Center congratulate Director Donnovan Beckford who was honored at the recent 26th Annual Brotherhood Breakfast where he received The Harold Fitzpatrick Community Leadership Award for his role in bringing more jobs to Westchester and Putnam.

Donnovan Beckford Executive Director (center)
Darleen McNerney Account Clerk
Victor Avendano Program Specialist
Milton David Job Developer
Robert Fois Job Developer
Kimberly Morella Community Work Assistant
Mary Kehoe Budget Specialist

Picture bottom center
Employees and staff of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Board Career Center celebrate along with Director Donnovan Beckford who was honored at the recent 26th Annual Brotherhood Breakfast where he received The Harold Fitzpatrick Community Leadership Award.

Left to right
Kimberly Morella Community Work Assistant
Victor Avendano Program Specialist
OJ Yizar One-Stop Manager
Robert Fois Job Developer
Vickie Benjamin Agency Service Representative
Stella Major Application Support Specialist
Judy Lundy Volunteer
Darleen McNerney Account Clerk
Mary Kehoe Budget Specialist
Amy Broughman Agency Service Representative
Donnovan Beckford Executive Director (Center)
Antonio Montano Instructor, BOCES
Lynn Karr Employment Counselor
Natasha Roukos Chairman, SCORE
Daniel Troyer Labor Services Representative
Mary Hill Volunteer
Magdalena Reed Volunteer
Michael Lamm Labor Services Representative
Hector Torres One-Stop Supervisor
Jennifer Coker-Wiggins Employment Counselor
Paul Cherian Employment Counselor


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