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Joe McDermott

Joe McDermott is the Executive Director of the Consortium for Worker Education. CWE is composed of over 46 labor unions and acts as the education arm of the New York City Central Labor Council, training and retaining about 90,000 workers annually in skills upgrade, language and information technology, and offering special licensing and certification classes. Joe’s deep commitment to civil rights and the economic and social rights of workers started in 1968, when he served in the Peace Corps as Education Director in Sierra Leone. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1971, he co-founded and was the first Dean of the School of New Resources, an innovative approach for adults to attain the Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1978, Joe became the Education Director and assistant to Barry Feinstein, head of the Teamsters Joint Council and Local 237. There, he conceived and created an extraordinary and comprehensive union education system. The Consortium for Worker Education began as an embryo in 1985, and has received significant recognition since, especially when it began the Emergency Employment Clearinghouse program in the aftermath of 9/11 to help thousands of individuals and businesses recover from the economic impact of the attacks. In addition to being a Board Member of ITAC, Joe also serves on the New York City and New York State Workforce Investment Boards.