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Greetings from the Southeastern Employment & Training Association (SETA). I have the pleasure of serving as the President of this organization alongside a 20-member volunteer Board who are dedicated to advancing SETA’s mission and vision.

The past 18 months has brought about a different world. COVID has ravaged our communities and families, social justice issues have taken center stage and demanded change, and our political environment has been fractured with growing divisiveness. Needless to say, it has been a challenging and difficult time. We have had to learn new ways to work, to socialize, to recreate, to maintain family connections, and to celebrate milestones. We have lost people deer to us – family, friends, colleagues – that have impacted us deeply and at times has shaken our faith and motivation. And yet we prevail, we continue on this journey, we do our best to live life and to serve our communities.

Workforce Development has never been more important than it is today. Millions of people lost jobs and many are still not ready to return to work. Most of our local economies have re-opened, yet employers struggle to find qualified workers.

With all these changes and challenges in our work environment, professional development, sharing best practices, and learning from our peers is vital.

SETA is your premier membership association for providing professional growth opportunities to workforce development partners and practitioners across the southeast. My goals for SETA during the next year are below.

  1. Update and approve the Strategic Plan. SETA adopted at strategic plan in 2016. After five years and a COVID-impacted workforce environment, it is time to revisit this strategic plan to ensure we have the appropriate priorities and implementation steps to advance the SETA mission and vision.
  1. Offer quality programs to membership. SETA has a long history of providing two quality conferences annually, with a variety of pertinent training and networking options. We should build upon this success and continue to seek member feedback to ensure conference sessions meet current needs. We should also look to expand programming options such as live webinars and recorded on-demand sessions.
  1. Increase the frequency and quality of communication to members. It is critical to provide timely and accessible communications to the SETA members. The SETA website needs to be updated to offer a more user-friendly experience, social media outreach needs to be consistent and relevant, and evolving communication methods should be considered (e.g. apps, push notifications, texts, etc.).
  1. Increase SETA membership numbers. During the COVID pandemic, the SETA membership decreased by more than half. With the absence of in-person conferences, members did not see the need to renew their membership. By offering a broader range of services and benefits, we will increase the demand to maintain SETA memberships. Additional efforts should be made to increase membership from all 8 states, with particular emphasis in states with lower participation rates.
  1. Effective SETA board operations. SETA is led by a dedicated group of volunteers offering to serve on the Board. My goal is to ensure that we have a full and productive board that makes the best use of our time together. Our focus will be on meeting member needs and the overall advancement of the SETA organization.

I welcome your feedback on the above priorities and the future direction of SETA. I also encourage you to join or renew your membership today to take full advantage of all the perks offered to our members and I hope to see you at the upcoming webinars and the Florida Spring Conference on March 13-16, 2022.


Rob LeBeau
SETA President
2021 – 2022

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