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Boyd earns Friend of Workforce Development award

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business Farmington, 55024
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Longtime Dakota Electric employee LaDonna Boyd received the Mark McAfee Friend of Workforce Development Award at the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board's annual legislative and awards event held Dec. 14 at the Eagan Community Center.

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The award is presented to an individual who has championed workforce issues at the local, state or federal level. Boyd was the Economic Development Director at Dakota Electric for many years until retiring in early 2012. She has been a champion of workforce and economic development issues at local, state, national and even international levels.

At the local level, she chaired the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board for many years and also served on chamber of commerce boards, advisory groups for Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College, and was a leader of other local economic development groups.

At the state level, she was a member of numerous groups including the Governor's Workforce Development Council, the Minnesota Workforce Council Association, and the Economic Development Association of Minnesota. Her participation at the national level included serving on committees focused on workforce issues for the National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors.

Her international involvement included organizing trade missions to Ireland and China. Additionally, she worked to establish sister city relationships between cities in Dakota County and China which, in turn, helped create business relationships and international business opportunities.

Boyd was known far and wide for her "can do" approach and her passion for helping others succeed. She either led or was a major contributor on initiatives to foster job creation in the area, whether it was working on attracting new businesses, helping existing businesses grow, or developing resources for entrepreneurs.

"LaDonna is the epitome of someone who worked tirelessly for the betterment of our area for both employers and citizens. She was the most 'on-the-go' person I've ever met," says Cathy Weik, Stratis Health, who succeeded Boyd as Chairperson of the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board. "Additionally, she was always so incredibly positive and seemed to know everyone in the county. Her leadership was instrumental to our board's reputation as being innovative and forward-thinking - a reputation which continues today."

The award Boyd received is named after Mark McAfee, a former member of the Workforce Investment Board who passed away unexpectedly in 2010. McAfee focused on helping people attain the skills and training they need to become self-sufficient.

The Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board oversees employment programs and WorkForce Centers in Dakota and Scott Counties.

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