FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 15, 2023
Media Contact: Chong-Anna Canfora | email@example.com
Michigan AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute Holds First Annual Workers Gala
DETROIT, Mich. – On Friday, May 12, the Michigan AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute (WDI) hosted its first annual Workers Gala, bringing together business leaders, union members, legislators and government officials, along with WDI staff, program graduates and current students to celebrate the accomplishments and rapid growth of the Institute and its programs like Access for All and Women In Skilled Trades (WIST).
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II speaking at the 2023 Workforce Development Institute’s first annual Workers Gala
“The individuals we are celebrating tonight truly embody the greatest Michigan success stories,” said Chong-Anna CANFORA, Executive Director of the Michigan Workforce Development Institute. “Our program participants, partners, and staff are a powerhouse, working tirelessly every day to carry out our mission and build bright futures, not only for themselves, but for their communities and working people across Michigan.”
Awardees at the 2023 Workforce Development Institute first annual Workers Gala.
Throughout the evening, WDI’s program participants were recognized for their achievements. Other honorees were legislative, labor, and workforce allies who have been instrumental in WDI’s success and growth, including Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Susan CORBIN who was recognized with a Trailblazer Award.
Executive Director Chong-Anna Canfora (left) and Deputy Director Colleen Sullivan (right) presenting LEO Director Susan Corbin with a Trailblazer Award at the Michigan WDI first annual Workers Gala.
“On behalf of the entire LEO team, we are proud to be recognized for the critical partnership and work being done to make sure everyone has a path to rewarding careers and prosperity,” said Director CORBIN. “The Michigan State AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute has played a key role in helping us expand opportunities for Michiganders, empowering and preparing them to achieve employment in high-demand, high-wage careers, ultimately helping to build a better Michigan.”
WDI’s programs provide services to job seekers and employers throughout the state of Michigan and are a collaborative effort between the labor movement, businesses, and dedicated instructors and staff. By providing pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and occupational skills training, as well as career exploration and job placement services for youth and adults, WDI has helped open up pathways to prosperity in the skilled trades for people across the state. WDI’s programs have served more than 60,000 Michigan job seekers since its incorporation in 1988.
The gala was sponsored by the Michigan AFL-CIO, a growing federation representing forty different labor organizations, eighteen different central labor councils, and eight constituency groups representing over 1 million union members and their families. Many other supporters include LiUNA! Training Michigan, Ironworkers Local 25, Operating Engineers OE324, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, as well as the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council.
Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber speaking at the 2023 Workforce Development Institute first annual Workers Gala
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of the work WDI does each and every day to empower the next generation of workers, open up paths to the middle class for working people, and grow the skilled trades,” said Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron BIEBER. “Tonight’s celebration is truly a testament to our ability to change lives when the labor movement, job creators, and our state government join forces.”