The Workforce Collaboration Summit was created in 2018 to unite partner organizations so that all could be better informed about the resources available to the community. Each provider has a unique way of serving and supporting the various aspects of what people need — health and education resources, job skills for career seekers, services for businesses, resources for food and housing, and more. The annual summit ensures partners are kept up to date with available resources, and that connections are made to establish personal relationships amongst collaboration partners.

The Chelan-Douglas Summit was organized by agency partners and took place on Friday, May 17 at Wenatchee Valley College. Dr. Faimous Harrison, Wenatchee Valley College president and SkillSource board member, welcomed the 110+ summit attendees. And then the M.C., Alan Walker, Executive Director of Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council, kicked off the day wearing a personal flotation device, symbolic of the summit’s theme that we must first care for ourselves in order to effectively care for others.

A man with glasses holds up a phone to his ear while standing at the front of a conference room, he's hold a microphone and wears a yellow and burgundy life jacket.

The keynote presentation was “Creating a Behavioral Health & Trauma Informed Lens in Workforce Development” with tools shared by Dr. Julie Rickard, a nationally recognized suicide prevention leader, licensed psychologist, and educator based in Washington. Dr. Rickard is the founder and CEO of Moment by Moment Suicide Prevention as well as the founding Director for the Suicide Prevention Coalition of North Central Washington and a Partner at the National Center for Suicide Survivors. Dr. Rickard’s engaging presentation offered summit guests valuable perspectives and tools for navigating the complexities of post-trauma and mental health.

A woman with long brown hair stands at a lectern holding a microphone and points toward a screen that has a graphic that says Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Care.

Summit participants attended breakout sessions throughout the day with presenters speaking on topics like AI and Employment, Behavioral Health, Post-Incarceration Support, Feeding the Community, Eliminating Hunger, and more. Presenting partners included HopeSource, Catholic Charities, Community Action Council, Labor & Industries, Labor Temple, SkillSource, Wenatchee Valley College, Department of Corrections, Employment Security Department, DSHS, OIC, NCW Tech Alliance, Planned Parenthood, Molina Health, Aging and Adult Care, DVR, and WorkSource.

Over lunch summit guests listened to a panel of Dreammakers: Mayra Garcia, Stacy Menley, and James Moore. The panel shared their stories of navigating personal obstacles such as cancer, teen pregnancy, and incarceration, and the resources, people, and partners (and personal commitment!) that helped make success possible. All three Dreammakers were SkillSource participants.

Angela Prater, Organizational Development Manager at Confluence Health, presented the final session of the summit, “Taking Care of Ourselves So We Can Help Others.” It was a useful reminder that we must put on our own oxygen masks first, figuratively speaking, or we will be ineffective at providing service to others. Angela Prater has her own three words that ensure she practices self care on a regular basis: Mandatory Day Off. She encouraged summit attendees to discuss and share other three word combinations that demonstrate what our present selves know now, and that we would share with our past selves if we could. A few answers included “Let it go” and “Do it today” and “Practice self-patience.”

A dark haired woman in a bright pink jacket speaks at a lectern in front of a screen with the words Mandatory Day Off.

Thank you to all who contributed to make the 2024 Chelan-Douglas Workforce Collaboration Summit a success! Fore more information on the North Central Workforce Collaboration, including future events, visit the North Central Partner Service Directory website.