The Massachusetts Workforce Association (MWA) is a statewide membership association that leads, advocates and convenes on behalf of the Massachusetts workforce development system.

Our mission

We are the voice for the Commonwealth’s workforce development system, encompassing an array of partners and stakeholders, including the MassHire Career Centers and Workforce Boards. MWA provides a unified voice for the state’s regionally-led workforce development system to ensure it is responsive to the dynamic demands of businesses, job seekers, incumbent workers, and youth throughout the Commonwealth.

Diversity can show up in gender, sexual identity, nationality, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, veteran status, age, physical ability, regional diversity (rural, urban, surrounding communities), and many more expressions of identity. Many existing systems of power and privilege affect access to services unequally and that equity is crucial to the long-term viability of the organization.  We seek board members that represent the constituents that we serve to give power to the many voices within workforce development.



The Massachusetts Workforce Association’s 15-member Board of Directors is composed of knowledgeable leaders from business, nonprofit, labor, and the workforce system. The Board is private sector-led and helps guide the strategic direction of the organization.

Stan Usovicz
MassHire North Shore Workforce Board

Valerie Sutton
Harvard Graduate School of Education
MassHire Metro North Workforce Board

Suzanne Fernandes
North Easton Savings Bank
MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board

Robert Bower
Mass AFL-CIO and Community Labor United

Robert Corley
NeighborWorks Housing Solutions

David Gadaire
MassHire Holyoke Career Center

Maddrey Goode
MassHire Boston Career Center

Chris Kealey
Mass Business Roundtable

Jim Oliveria
MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board

Karen Pelletier
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
MassHire Central Workforce Board

Joseph Peters
Universal Plastics
MassHire Holyoke Career Center

Mary Sarris
MassHire North Shore Workforce Board

Erin Travassos

Michael Weekes
Providers’ Council

Ray Wrobel
Align Credit Union
MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board

MWA welcomes nominations to our board of directors.

MWA welcomes nominations to our board of directors. To learn more and apply or nominate someone, click the link below.


Tonja Mettlach 
Executive Director
Tonja Mettlach is the Executive Director of MWA and over her career has worked in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Previously, Tonja was the Director of Government Affairs for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN). In this role, Tonja led MNN’s state and federal advocacy efforts and collaborated with government officials and external stakeholders on policy issues impacting the nonprofit sector. Tonja previously worked at the MA State House, first as chief of staff to former Representative Tom Conroy on the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and then as committee counsel for Representative Jennifer Benson, House Chair of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. Tonja holds a B.A. and M.S. from Clark University and a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

Raija Vaisanen 
Associate Director
Raija Vaisanen is the Associate Director of MWA and has more than twelve years of experience in workforce and economic development policy implementation and applied social science research. Previously, Raija was Director of Research at Commonwealth Corporation; Massachusetts’ quasi-public workforce development agency. Raija also worked for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development under the Patrick Administration as Project Manager for Manufacturing and Innovation.  From 2007 to 2013, Raija was a researcher in the Economic and Public Policy Research unit at the UMass Donahue Institute. She is a graduate of UMass Amherst (B.A., M.P.P.A.).   


Scroll to Top