The Massachusetts Workforce Association (MWA) is a statewide membership association that leads, advocates and convenes on behalf of the Massachusetts workforce development system.


We are the voice for the Commonwealth’s workforce development system, encompassing an array of partners and stakeholders, including the MassHire Career Centers and Workforce Boards. MWA provides a unified voice for the state’s regionally-led workforce development system to ensure it is responsive to the dynamic demands of businesses, job seekers, incumbent workers, and youth throughout the Commonwealth.

Diversity can show up in race, gender, sexual identity, nationality, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, veteran status, age, physical ability, regional diversity (rural, urban, surrounding communities), and many more expressions of identity. Many existing systems of power and privilege affect access to services unequally and that equity is crucial to the long-term viability of the organization.  We seek board members that represent the constituents that we serve to give power to the many voices within workforce development.



The Massachusetts Workforce Association’s 15-member Board of Directors is composed of knowledgeable leaders from business, nonprofit, labor, and the workforce system. The Board is private sector-led and helps guide the strategic direction of the organization.

Valerie Sutton
Harvard Graduate School of Education
MassHire Metro North Workforce Board

VICE CHAIR Bobby Tugbiyele The Leap Network

TREASURER Jim Oliveira MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board

Robert Bower
Mass AFL-CIO and Community Labor United

Robert Corley
NeighborWorks Housing Solutions

David Gadaire
MassHire Holyoke Career Center

Charles Gagnon
Volunteers of America Massachusetts

Maddrey Goode MassHire Boston Career Center

Lisa Gurgone Mystic Valley Elder Services

Karen Pelletier
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
MassHire Central Workforce Board

Mary Sarris MassHire North Shore Workforce Board

Erin Travassos Eversource

Stan Usovicz Verizon

Michael Weekes
Providers’ Council


MWA welcomes nominations to our board of directors. To learn more and apply or nominate someone, click the link below.


Raija Vaisanen 
Interim Executive Director
Raija Vaisanen is the Interim Executive Director of MWA and has more than fifteen years of experience in workforce and economic development policy implementation and applied social science research. Previously, Raija was Director of Research at Commonwealth Corporation; Massachusetts’ quasi-public workforce development agency. Raija also worked for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development under the Patrick Administration as Project Manager for Manufacturing and Innovation.  From 2007 to 2013, Raija was a researcher in the Economic and Public Policy Research unit at the UMass Donahue Institute. She is a graduate of UMass Amherst (B.A., M.P.P.A.).   


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