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Developing Washington’s Workforce for the Future

WSU engages professionals from a variety of sectors in Washington State to serve on the Workforce Learning Council (WLC).

WLC members work with Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI), the Innovation and Research Engagement Office, and Corporate Relations to improve the availability of professional workforce development education programs for regional business and industry.

Specific functions of the WLC include:

  • Identify workforce development and educational needs within Council Member’s industries.
  • Ensure the alignment of current and emerging needs of the industry with the development of WSU programs and educational enterprises.
  • Act as a sounding board on a variety of matters with regard to workforce development and professional continuing education curriculum development.

The WLC improves WSU’s ability to deliver world-class, timely, and relevant professional and workforce development programs to the industries important to the state of Washington.  Members serve in an advisory capacity, bringing their personal and professional capabilities, ideas, and experiences to the council. The role of the council members is to share their advice and insight, working in concert to align the council’s strategic goals with WSU’s capabilities.

WLC Members

Photo: James Blount.James Blount

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Jim Blount is the Deputy Director, Human Resources (HR) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), serving as a senior executive with deep Human Resources domain experience and strong leadership in providing strategic direction and oversight for the HR team and its functional areas. He is helping lead the long-term strategic planning and operational HR initiatives that enable PNNL to attract, recruit, develop, and retain the exceptional talent necessary to achieve its vision, mission, and goals.

He is an accomplished HR professional with breadth and depth across the HR function that includes roles within the high tech and R&D industries. A strong general manager and leader with significant business partner experience accompanied by strategic roles providing a wealth of perspective, business acumen and thought leadership. He has benefited from experience with two prominent Fortune 100 companies and government contracting management and operations.

Photo: Theresa Chow.Theresa Chow

Energy Northwest


Theresa Chow earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Montana and is currently pursuing her MBA from Concordia University in Nebraska and her Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification. Along with her degree, she holds Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications.

She has worked in various capacities including sales, marketing and finance. However, the past 14 years have been spent working in human resources, mainly in the manufacturing industry. She is very passionate about recruiting, workforce development, and continuous education.

Photo: Steve Harms.Steve Harms



A 30-year veteran of the forest products industry, Steve Harms has extensive experience in manufacturing, marketing, sales and business leadership. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Simon Fraser University, but most importantly, is the proud father of a WSU student!  Go Cougs!

Luke Korthuis

SAP Technologies

Taylor Lange


Bianca Washington


Photo: Heidi West.Heidi West

Sunquest Information Systems


Heidi has over 20 years of expertise in Human Resources in the Pacific NW. This includes exempt level recruitment, cultural assessments, retreat/meeting facilitation, Executive coaching and recruitment, workforce planning, team building, change management, and conflict management. She is certified as a Interview Trainer with DDI. She has recruited within the PAC 12 schools and been a guest speaker at campus classes for over 10 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Sociology.

Emily Wittman

Aerospace Futures Alliance