2022-2023 NASWA Board of Directors

Colorado’s Barela Named NASWA Board of Directors Chair-Elect

WASHINGTON – The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) announced that Joe Barela, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, has been named Chair-Elect on the association’s board of directors.

Barela moves into the Chair-Elect role replacing Michael Harrington, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor, who assumed the role of Chair following the departure of Dr. Tamika Ledbetter, former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Barela will serve for the remainder of the 2022-23 association year and, per NASWA bylaws, also serve as Chair-Elect for the 2023-24 association year.

“Congratulations to Joe on being selected as the new Chair-Elect,” NASWA President & CEO Scott B. Sanders said. “I’m thrilled to have him join the board of directors as we all work to drive the national workforce agenda forward.”

“The public workforce system will be critically important as all states emerge from the disruptions of the pandemic and continue to deal with workforce shortages and skills gaps,” said Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Executive Director Joe Barela. “With a renewed focus on career connected education and training that supports economic growth and access to career mobility, I’m looking forward to working collectively to provide policy, funding and operational expertise while learning and sharing best practices that promote state, regional and national innovation within the public workforce development ecosystem.”

The NASWA board of directors include:

  • Chair – Michael Harrington, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Labor
  • Chair-Elect – Joe Barela, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
  • Past Chair – Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Secretary – Lynda Parven, Administrator, Employment Security Division, Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation
  • Treasurer – John Albin, Commissioner, Nebraska Department of Labor

The NASWA board of directors is selected by the membership and their duties are to direct the business of the association. Board members serve a one-year term, except the Treasurer, who serves two years.


About the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (www.naswa.org): NASWA is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career, business, and wage and hour services, in addition to administering unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment, and labor market information programs. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares promising state practices, and promotes state innovation and leadership in workforce development.

About the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment:
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) vision is to create a working economy that elevates all of Colorado. In pursuit of this vision, the 1,300-person state agency’s seven divisions and four offices help the state’s employers and workers prosper: employers benefit from CDLE’s work to improve Colorado’s talent pipeline, its recruitment assistance, its economic updates, and more. The agency helps workers with and without disabilities pursue their career goals through job training, job search assistance, and career counseling. CDLE works to help workers, employers, and communities thrive by ensuring fair labor practices, providing unemployment insurance, and protecting Colorado communities through consumer protection and safety programs. CDLE is primarily funded through federal and cash funds. Factors that influence its work and funding include federal legislation, budgets, and the state’s economic health.