Source: Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board
The Mark McAfee Friend of Workforce Development Award is presented to an individual who has championed workforce issues at the local, state or federal level.

This year’s recipient is Steve Ditschler. Ditschler, retiring CEO of ProAct, Inc. headquartered in Eagan, is a longtime member of the Dakota-Scott WDB. His leadership in workforce also extends to the state and national levels serving as a board member of the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) and Minnesota’s Governor’s Workforce Development
Board (GWDB).

“NAWB is pleased to join the Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board in recognizing Steve Ditschler,” Ron Painter, NAWB President and CEO. “I could not agree more with his deserving accolades for his work. He has brought a strong voice to the national board. He continually reminds us why WIOA and local workforce boards are essential and helps focus our re-skilling efforts on the values of equity, inclusion, and effectiveness.”

Ben Baglio, GWDB Director, states, “In addition to all the great work that Steve Ditschler does at the local level, over the years he has also brought a tremendous amount of leadership and vision to the GWDB as not
only a longtime board member but also as the chair of the GWDB
Disability Equity Committee and as an active member of the GWDB Operations and Executive committees.

Steve is absolutely a go-to GWDS member whenever something comes up that staff need to better understand the complexities of or need historical context surrounding a given topic. DEED leadership and the State of Minnesota have also called upon him frequently over the years whenever his leadership and knowledge have been needed in support of efforts to reduce barriers faced by Minnesotans living with disabilities.

He also played a crucial role on the board after the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014, which tasked states with implementing wide changes to their workforce programming and services. Steve Ditschler is someone who actively seeks to improve the lives of others. Minnesota is certainly better off today because of all of his work and years of dedicated service.”

Mark McAfee was a longtime Workforce Board member. He focused on helping people attain the skills and training they needed to become self-sufficient. Mark passed away in 2010. To remember him and his passion for helping others, the Workforce Development Board re-named the Friend of Workforce award in his honor.