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

Our mission

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.

Stan Usovicz
MassHire North Shore Workforce Board

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

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

Lauren Jones
Massachusetts Business Roundtable

Karen Pelletier Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce MassHire Central Workforce Board

Mary Sarris MassHire North Shore Workforce Board

Vera Sostre
Sheraton Springfield

Erin Travassos

Bobby Tugbiyele
The Leap Network

Michael Weekes
Providers’ Council

MWA welcomes nominations to our board of directors.

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


Tonja Mettlach 
Executive Director
Tonja Mettlach is the Executive Director of MWA and over her career has worked in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Previously, Tonja was the Director of Government Affairs for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN). In this role, Tonja led MNN’s state and federal advocacy efforts and collaborated with government officials and external stakeholders on policy issues impacting the nonprofit sector. Tonja previously worked at the MA State House, first as chief of staff to former Representative Tom Conroy on the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and then as committee counsel for Representative Jennifer Benson, House Chair of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. Tonja holds a B.A. and M.S. from Clark University and a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

Raija Vaisanen 
Associate Director
Raija Vaisanen is the Associate Director of MWA and has more than fourteen 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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