The WDC and Our WorkThe Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) is a nonprofit workforce “think tank” and grant-making organization whose mission is to support a strong economy and ensure the ability of each person to achieve self-sufficiency.
Established in 2000 by the King County Executive and the Mayor of Seattle, the WDC is led by a board of directors with a private-sector majority. We oversee a wide range of employment-related programs and initiatives, serving thousands of King County youth, adults and businesses each year.
Since becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2009, Marléna Sessions has guided the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County to national prominence as an innovative leader in job training initiatives. From closing the skills gaps in healthcare and aerospace to serving homeless jobseekers, the WDC is making a positive impact on workers, employers, youth and the local economy. In 2010 the Working for America Institute named the organization one of the top four workforce boards in the U.S.
Marléna is a board officer on the Executive Committee for the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, the area’s economic development agency, serves on the King County Aerospace Alliance, and the Washington Workforce Association Executive Team. She is a member of the Seattle Community Colleges Chancellor’s Advisory Council, the South King County STEM Network, the Washington Interactive Network board of directors, and the visiting committee of the University of Washington Educational Outreach. She serves on the Washington Families Fund Leadership Committee.
While her focus is local, Marléna believes in sharing the WDC’s knowledge with workforce development organizations nationwide. Besides offering expert guidance to Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor, she is the 2013 president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council, a founding member of the National Advisory Group for Connecting Homeless Jobseekers to the workforce system, and a member of the steering and advisory committee for the National STEM Consortium.
Prior to being named CEO, Marléna was Chief Operations Officer of the Workforce Development Council. Her early career years were in practitioner work directly assisting disconnected youth and dislocated workers. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor of arts in political science from Whitworth University. Marléna lives in Issaquah, WA, with her husband and two children.