NSC board of directors elects three new members from national network

January 24, 2022

National leaders bring expertise in racial equity, job quality, business engagement, and bi-partisan solutions

Washington DC – National Skills Coalition today announced the election of three new board members to help lead NSC’s fight for a national commitment to inclusive, high-quality skills training so that more people have access to a better life, and more local businesses see sustained growth: Dr. Alex Camardelle, Director of Workforce Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic StudiesAllison Dembeck, Vice President of Education and Labor Advocacy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Sekou Siby, CEO, Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC) United 

“We are thrilled to welcome these exceptional leaders to the NSC board,” said CEO and board member Andy Van Kleunen. “Each has been an outstanding partner to NSC in specific areas that are essential to our efforts to drive an inclusive economic recovery, including racial equity, job quality, business engagement, and bi-partisan solutions.” 

Dr. Alex Camardelle is a national leader in centering Black workers in policy debates concerning the future of work, workforce development, and access to good jobs. Prior to joining the Joint Center he was a nationally recognized researcher and state advocate with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI), where he advanced policy reforms shaping workforce development, worker justice, and access to core safety net programs for individuals and families with low incomes. 

“Since his time at GBPI when he served as the lead for NSC’s Georgia SkillSPAN coalition, Dr. Camardelle has been an essential partner to NSC as we’ve brought a racial equity lens to our organizing and policy efforts,” said Van Kleunen. “At the Joint Center, he has been a key ally in our fight for the expansion of Pell grants to high-quality, short-term credentials and recently co-hosted with NSC a national listening session on Black workers and reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.” 

“I have had the opportunity to watch NSC evolve over the years in its approach to economic inclusion and racial equity,” said Camardelle. “The organization’s progress was formative for my own growth as a former workforce development funder-turned-policy professional who has leaned on NSC’s analysis and coalition work to advance worker-centered training policies at the state and federal level. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to return the favor by supporting NSC’s continued growth as a member of the board and leveraging the organization’s expertise and national networks to establish a new, racially and economically just standard for workforce development in the United States.” 

Allison Dembeck has led the US Chamber’s government relations efforts focused on education, labor, and workforce policy for ten years. Prior to the Chamber, Allison was professional staff to the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce under the leadership of both Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. John Kline (R-MN). She also worked on education and workforce issues for Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and for the Senate Republican Policy Committee. 

“For over 20 years, NSC has developed and advocated for bi-partisan skills policies that benefit a broad range of workers and businesses, scale what’s working on the ground, mobilize a broad range of stakeholders to action, and garner bi-partisan support,” said Van Kleunen. “Ms. Dembeck has been a long-term partner to NSC and our Business Leaders United initiative in advocating for effective, winnable, bi-partisan policy change.” 

“As a long-time supporter of NSC and as someone passionate about workforce issues, I’m honored to accept the board nomination,” said Dembeck. “The NSC board and staff recognize and prioritize the positive impact improving workforce development will have on both employees and employers, the need to eliminate the disparities within our workforce, the importance of addressing the unique challenges facing small and medium-sized businesses, and the immediacy of these issues while the country grapples with recovery. I believe in NSC’s vision for an inclusive recovery, and I hope to amplify it along with the hard work of the NSC staff who are making the necessary policy changes a reality.” 

Dr. Sekou Siby leads ROC United’s national efforts to support membership, training and education programs, community, and public engagement, as well as policy advocacy and organizational development. Under his leadership, ROC United is building worker power, and promoting policies that improve the lives of restaurant workers and their communities. Dr. Siby co-founded ROC United after surviving the 9/11 terrorist attacks during a time when he worked as a cook at the Windows on the World restaurant. 

“Under Dr. Siby’s leadership, ROC United has demonstrated the essential role of training and advancement strategies to job quality,” said Van Kleunen. “He brought that expertise to our Retail & Hospitality Industry Recovery Panel in 2021 and we look forward to engaging that expertise in the coming years as NSC builds its job quality agenda.” 

“I am truly honored to be nominated to join the National Skills Coalition board,” said Siby. “On behalf of ROC United, my leadership and partnership with NSC would bolster our programs, advocacy and policy efforts across the country. The important work is far from over, but we are committed to our mission and the values of equity, justice, and inclusion in the restaurant industry. Along with NSC and partners, there’s no doubt that we will achieve our goals to better serve millions of restaurant workers this year and beyond.” 

To learn more about the NSC board of directors,  click here