Joseph M. Barela has been in the public workforce development industry for 24 years. He is currently the Director of Community Engagement with Skillful/A Markle Initiative. Prior to Skillful, Mr Barela was the Workforce Director for Arapahoe and Douglas Counties and served as the Manager of Arapahoe/Douglas Works! Workforce Center. In this capacity he also served as the Executive Director of the Arapahoe/ Douglas Workforce Development Board. Mr. Barela has completed an assignment with the United States Department of Labor/Employment and Training Division as a WIOA Senior Advisor. Mr. Barela is viewed as a local, regional and national authority on human capital development and its impact on economic vitality. He has been the President of the Rocky Mountain Workforce Development Association, member of the Colorado Workforce Development Council and a Board of Director for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he was a Policy Analyst with the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Colorado Works! Program; where he focused on state and county-level workforce development initiatives as part of the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant. He is a native Coloradan and a graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder.