The NWPA Job Connect Board is the workforce development board in Northwest Pennsylvania.

Board Structure

The NWPA Job Connect Board is comprised of members representing business, labor, education, social services, and government agencies throughout Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Venango, and Warren Counties. Working in cooperation with chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, planning commissions, and others, the Board focuses its development activities on key industry segments that include electronics manufacturing, food processing, construction, health care, metal fabrication, plastics, technology, lumber and hardwoods, oil and gas, transportation, and mining. The Board also administers federal and state funds for programs targeted to adults, dislocated workers, and young people through two PA CareerLink® offices in Erie County and Oil City, as well as mobile and virtual services throughout all six counties.

Board Members

Grainne Blanchett

Global HR, Legal, & Compliance Executive

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Global HR, Legal & Compliance Executive

Employer: Eriez
P: (814) 835-6252

Grainne Blanchette currently enjoys a multi-functional leadership role as a staff member on the corporate management team, reporting to Eriez’ President & CEO. She guides and coaches’ management on compliance and strategic risk management, advise on legal best practices, draft global policies and standards, and lead initiatives focused on our One Eriez people experience (culture, engagement, retention, development, performance). HR strengths include Global HR Management, human rights and employment law, strategic change management, executive coaching and development, succession planning, positive employee relations. Her growth interest areas are transformational leadership, employee experience improvement, optimizing HR metrics. Recently she has initiated organizational change, employee engagement (retention, communication, development, talent acquisition, satisfaction) to better collaboration, buy-in, visibility, feedback, tools, and measurements.

Grainne is a graduate of Assumption University, BA Psychology with Business concentration, New England Law –Boston, JD (with honors), achieved SPHR credentials in 2003.

Previous professional experience prior to joining Eriez, held global HR, compliance, and legal management roles at a Fortune 200 electronics manufacturing services provider headquartered in Silicon Valley with more than 120,000 employees in 30 countries. Before that, held a general management role with a multi-brand food company. Significant international experience in human resources, corporate ethics and governance, investigations, risk management and business administration.

Travis Crytzer

Business Owner
Loeffler’s Flowers and Gifts, LLC

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Business Owner

Employer: Loeffler’s Flowers and Gifts LLC
P: 202-251-4553

Travis Crytzer is the owner and operator of Blossoms and Blooms Boutique located in Linesville, PA and Loeffler’s Flowers and Gifts in Meadville, PA, Mr. Crytzer is solely responsible for all day-to-day operations, including marketing, purchasing, sales, service, quality control, payroll, and flower design. Mr. Crytzer started and opened Blossoms and Blooms Boutique in 2017 in and purchased Loeffler’s Flowers and Gifts in 2018, becoming its fifth owner in its nearly 100-year existence.

Prior to relocating back to NWPA, Mr. Crytzer lived and worked in Washington, DC for sixteen years. During his time in Washington DC, Mr. Crytzer was a lobbyist for the Association of American Medical Colleges advocating on behalf of American medical schools and teaching hospitals. Mr. Crytzer’s political experience paired with his entrepreneurial spirit in owning and operating two flower shops makes him an ideal candidate for the NWPA Workforce Development Board. He brings real life experience to the Board both as an employer and business owner as well as being an active community member.

James Decker

President / CEO
Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry

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President / CEO

Employer: Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry (WCCBI)
Years Employed: 21

Jim is the President and CEO of Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry (WCCBI). He attended Mansfield University, majoring in music before completing a Business Management degree through State University of New York. Jim also holds a Certificate for IEDC Non-Profit Management.

His began his career as a Project Engineer in the Naval Nuclear Department of Struthers Wells Corporation. After that, he jumped ship to Garrison-Simonsen, Inc., a multi-line commercial and personal line insurance agency. In 1998, Jim started his path at the Warren County Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director.

Jim’s diverse private sector background and depth of awareness of the Warren County business community provides an excellent basis for helping to shape and deliver needed service program to their diverse economic community. When he is not working, Jim enjoys exercise of all kinds such as cycling, kayaking, and hiking. He also enjoys home remodeling and construction projects. 

Larry Fannie

Assistant Regional Director
PA Department of Labor & Industry

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Assistant Regional Director (BWPO)

Employer: PA Department of Labor & Industry

P: 724-471-7235


Jill A. Foys

Executive Director
Northwest Commission

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Executive Director

Employer: Northwest Commission
P: 814-677-4800 x116
F: 814-677-7663

Jill Foys is the Executive Director of the Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission in Oil City, PA. The Northwest Commission serves the counties of Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, and Warren. 

Jill is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Clarion University with degrees in Business and Human Resource Management. She began her career at the North Central Commission in Ridgway, PA as a Loan Officer in 2000 and after 12 years with the North Central Commission, she accepted the position as Executive Director with the Northwest Commission in July 2012.

Jill serves as Chair of the Local Development District Association of Pennsylvania, the Second Vice President of the Development District Association of Appalachia, and a member of the National Association of Development Organization’s Board of Directors. Jill also serves as a Director of the North Clarion County School District and the Clarion County Career and Technical Center.

Heather Frazier

HR Manager
Meadville Medical Center
(Human Resources)

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HR Manager (Human Resources)

Employer: Meadville Medical Center

P: 814-333-5466


Archie Graham

Business Agent
International Union of Operating Engineers
(District 6)

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Business Agent (District 6)

Employer: International Union of Operating Engineers

P: 814-676-6506


Jessica Hansford

Chief Executive Officer
Clarion Psychiatric Center

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Bio Coming Soon!

Jack J. Hewitt

District Administrator
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
(Erie District Office)

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District Administrator (Erie District Office)

Employer: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
Years Employed: 17
P: 800-541-0721
F: 814-871-4631

Jack has worked for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation since 2002. This, along with three years Case Management/Support Coordination with persons with disabilities, five years Supported Employment/Job Coaching with persons with disabilities, and a lifetime of being a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) gives Jack over 40 years’ experience advocating for persons with disabilities. 

He holds a MA in Vocational Rehabilitation and a BA in Speech and Hearing Disorders with a minor in Education. He has also completed Masters classes in Audiology. Additionally, Jack holds an advanced rating in Sign Communication Proficiency. Jack is a subject matter expert on disability services, accommodations, and support/services for persons with disabilities.

Outside of work, Jack enjoys spending time with his family, being outside, and supporting his church and community through Knights of Columbus, Elks, and other groups.

Bobbie Jones

Human Resources Manager
Webco Industries
(Human Resources)

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Human Resources Manager (Human Resources)

Employer: Webco Industries
P: 814-676-1331

Bobbie Jones is the Human Resources Manager at Webco Industries, Inc. Oil City Tube Division, as well as the owner of Trailasana Yoga Studio.

Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Labor and Employment Studies from Pennsylvania State University, an Associate of Science in Legal Business Studies from Clarion University – Venango Campus, and is currently pursuing her Master of Business at the University of Maryland.

She holds a Professional Human Resources Certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute. She holds the Vice President position for the United Way of Venango County Board of Directors, steering committee member for the Oil City Main Street Program, and a member of SHRM and the Venango County HR Group. She also holds a 500-hour yoga teacher training and barre certifications.

Shane Kline

Materials and Export Coordinator
GE Transportation

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Bio Coming Soon!

Andrea MacArthur

Vice President, Talent
Erie Insurance Group

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Vice President (Talent)

Employer: Erie Insurance Group

P: 814-572-1004


William Price

Executive Director
United Way of Venango County

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Bio Coming Soon!

TJ Sandell

Business Representative
Pittsburgh Plumbers Local Union #27

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Business Representative

Employer: Pittsburgh Plumbers Local Union #27

P: 814-455-1731


Kathryn Schaaf

Workforce Development Manager
Industrial Sales & Manufacturing, Inc.

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Workforce Development Manager

Employer: Industrial Sales & Manufacturing, Inc.
P: 814-833-9876
F: 814-835-6954

Kathryn Schaaf, originally from the United Kingdom, is a 10-year UK qualified Attorney. With five years’ experience as a litigator and then five years serving in the United Kingdom’s Royal Air force as a Legal Officer, Kathryn attained the rank of Major. In her role as an Attorney, she advised across several areas including, contract, policy, family, youth, and employment. Kathryn was deployed to Iraq and Syria, primarily advising on the law of armed conflict.

Kathryn is qualified in conflict resolution, including mediation, negotiation, and arbitration. More recently, Kathryn served with Her Majesty’s Government in the Department for International Trade in Atlanta, Georgia, as a Trade and Investment Officer, primarily supporting opportunities for economic growth between the UK and US. Kathryn moved to Erie in November 2021 and secured a job with the Industrial Sales and Manufacturing as their Workforce Development Manager, specializing in HR, training, and development.

Kirk Shimshock

Director of Federal & State Programs
Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit
(Education – Title II Adult Education & Literacy)

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Director of Federal & State Programs (Education – Title II Adult Education & Literacy)

Employer: Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit

P: 814-734-8420


Karen Thomas

Vice President
Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC
(Human Resources)

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Vice President (Human Resources)

Employer: Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC

P: 814-723-3230


Bradley Tisdale

Training Director
Steamfitters Local Union #449

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Training Director (Training)

Employer: Steamfitters Local Union #449
Years Employed: 3
P: 724-683-2100
F: 814-864-9684

Mr. Tisdale’s previous work-related experience include Training Director for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local #47, HVAC Specialist for William T. Spaeder Co., and Service Technician for Rabe Environmental Services. Bradley holds an Associate’s degree in Applied Science. Mr. Tisdale will be an asset to the team by serving as a guide to apprenticeship.

Outside of work, Bradley enjoys snowmobiling, tractor pulling, and cooking out by the pool.

Juanice Vega

Assistant Dean
Penn West University
(College of Business, Communication, & Information Sciences)

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Assistant Dean (College of Business, Communication, & Information Sciences)

Employer: Penn West University
P: 814-393-1892

Ms. Vega began her career at Clarion University in 1994 as a business consultant and training coordinator at the Small Business Development Center. In 1998, she was named the assistant director, then director, of continuing education, where she also served as the WED net grant program coordinator, issuing grant funds to support training initiatives at companies throughout NWPA. In 2013, she was named as the graduate program director in the College of Business Administration and subsequently the interim assistant dean of the college in 2019. With the announcement of our new Pennsylvania Western University, she has been appointed as assistant dean of the College of Business, Communication, & Information Sciences.

In her current role, Ms. Vega provides operational, programmatic, and academic leadership for faculty, staff, and students. This requires a high-level of collaboration in developing mission-critical results through maximizing the talents of a diverse team across multiple campus locations.

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