The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) launched its Policy & Advocacy Fellowship Program (PAFP) in 2021 to raise the collective capacity of its members to engage in workforce development advocacy at the federal, state, county, and local level.

Selected Fellows receive intensive training on the federal and state legislative, administrative, and appropriations processes, and tangible experiences in developing and utilizing advocacy strategies.

Participation is by application only; entrance is in PWDA’s sole discretion with judging criteria set forth in writing and posted on the PWDA website. 

The PAFP launches each year at the PWDA Symposium in the Fall and concludes at the PWDA Annual Conference in May. Fellows are expected to attend each session of the PAFP and complete all projects and assignments. Fellows may be removed from the program if they have unexcused absences or fail to complete program projects and assignments. 

Participation Requirements & Expectations

Fellows can expect:
  • An intensive and informative experience
  • To have fun and learn new things
  • To make new friends throughout the workforce systems and in the advocacy community
  • To be provided and accept coaching and guidance from PWDA staff and PAFP faculty and guests
  • To engage extensively in experiential learning with research and writing assignment and group projects on real world issues
  • To meet with PA legislators, staffers, policy makers and others
 Fellows will learn:
  • PA political, legislative, and budgetary processes
  • The Who’s Who of PA state legislators, committees, and leadership
  • Engagement & Advocacy – What Works – What Doesn’t’ – How to Apply It
  • Landscape of PA politics
  • Network with peers across PA
 Who should apply/application judging criteria:
  • Three or more years of experience in workforce development
  • Individuals whose position influence policy in organization
  • Applicants do not have to be chief staff executive of their organizations
  • People who are ready to learn and to sharpen skills
  • Those with a passion to build and improve the workforce system

Fellows (or their organizations) are expected to pay their own expenses and manage their own travel accommodations.  

Application Timeline
September 21, 2021  - Application Period Opens 
October 13, 2021 - Application Period Closes 
October 22, 2021 - Class Selection Notifications Sent (via email)


Key Fellowship Program Dates 
November 8-9, 2021: Fellowship Launch & Kickoff   (PWDA Offices, Camp Hill, PA**)
December 14-15, 2021: Fellowship Seminars & Legislative Prep  (PWDA Offices, Camp Hill, PA**)
January 26, 2021: Invite Only Town Hall and Fellowship Graduation (Location TBD)
February 15-17, 2022:  National Skills Coalition Summit (optional, Washington DC)
May 4-6, 2022: 38th Annual PWDA Conference Recognition  (optional Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA) 

**PWDA reserves the right to transition to a virtual offering, due to the  impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notification will be provided to selected fellows at least seven (7) days in advance. 

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