News Details

National Association of Workforce Board Holds National Convening in Bay County



Date: 2020/01/16

Bay County was the meeting place for the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) National Convening last week.  

This meeting, The Beacon of Resiliency: Setting the Standard for Workforce Development Boards’ Disaster Response, featured multiple panels and a breakout session to discuss natural disasters and the role of workforce boards before, during and after a disaster.  

“On behalf of our state board, I would like to express our gratitude to the National Association of Workforce Boards, CareerSource Gulf Coast and CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion for bringing today’s important conversation about recovery and rebuilding after a natural disaster to Bay County,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “We are proud of the ongoing efforts to restore this beautiful area after Hurricane Michael and are honored to be part of a vital national dialogue as we work together to help strengthen our communities.” 

This conference allowed event attendees to experience the resiliency of Bay County. The meeting began with a tour around Bay County and a meeting with local employers.

  • Wayne Stubbs, Port of Panama City Port Director, presented a video and images of the damage at the port site. He spoke on the importance of resuming operations and taking care of the port employees. 
  • Andy Hicks, Vice President of Operations for Berg Pipe, discussed Berg’s operations, including the steps the organization took to reopen their facility and support their staff. 
  • Heath Evans, Chief Executive Officer for Ascension Sacred Heart, spoke on the challenges of keeping the hospital operational with the damage it sustained. He commended his team for their determination and dedication to serving their patients.

“We are grateful that the National Association of Workforce Boards chose to host the convening here in Bay County,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “The discussion was about preparing for and recovering from natural disasters; we felt Bay County provided the perfect atmosphere for such conversation. Workforce Boards from around the nation were able to experience the real work involved in recovery from a category five hurricane from a community where the event is still fresh on our minds.” 

Over the course of three days, representatives from workforce boards throughout the United States and its territories shared their experiences with natural disasters. Covering both mistakes and best practices, the event was an honest and supportive learning environment for all attendees.

“Today’s stories of Hurricane Michael and other disasters across the country and territories reveal incredible civic leadership efforts to restore a local economy in the wake of devastation,” said Ron Painter, CEO of NAWB. “By aligning best practices, we are making sure that when the unthinkable happens, we can help.”


CareerSource Gulf Coast ( CareerSource Gulf Coast provides employment solutions to job seekers and employers in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties, all at no-cost.


CareerSource Florida ( CareerSource Florida provides oversight and policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Learn more at .


National Association of Workforce Boards ( The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) represents approximately 550 Workforce Development Boards and their 12,000+ business members that coordinate and leverage workforce strategies with education and economic development stakeholders within their local communities, to ensure that state and local workforce development and job training programs meet the needs of employers.