A Lifetime of Impact
On Thursday, June 6th, 2019 current and former Workforce Development, Inc. staff, board members, and community members gathered to celebrate WDI’s Executive Director, Randy Johnson as he prepares to retire after 34 years with the agency. Former staff members Lynda Hyberger, Jill Miller and Dallas Groten, and Workforce Development Board Member Jeff Custer all spoke of their appreciation for, and admiration of Randy, and the work that he has done. The resounding theme in their speeches, as well as the conversation in the room was the deep impact Randy has had on participants and staff and the number of lives he has truly changed through his work, advocacy and guidance.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of working with Randy you know his passion for data falls just short of his passion for people. Randy compiled a list of notable accomplishments that WDI has achieved since 1985. A few of the highlights are as follows.

  • WDI/PIC has placed over 60,000 adults in living wage careers, and another 37,000 public assistance recipients in transitional jobs – while helping some 15,000 youth gain employment and work maturity skills over the past 34 years. It is estimated that over 20% of the workforce in SE MN has been impacted by our services.

  • WDI/PIC attracted some $190 million in funding, from Federal, State, County and private sources since 1985.

  • When you calculate the new taxes paid on earnings for just 1 year by those placed, and add to it the amount of welfare avoided by getting a job for 1 year, it amounts to over $1 billion returned to government over the last 34 years! Dividing the return by the total cost of operation it yields a whopping 554% average Return on Investment!

Randy’s full list can be found here .

Randy, how do we begin to thank you for the work that you have done in our local region, the state, and on a national level? The world of workforce development has been forever altered in a positive way because of your strength, passion and tenacity. We wish you the very best as you move forward into retirement and look forward to hearing about your continued advocacy, hopefully interspersed with stories of fishing trips, travel adventures, time with your grandson and Minnesota Twins games.
 
With our deepest respect and admiration~
Your WDI Staff