Sheila D. Ireland
Sheila Ireland’s hallmark of success is her ability to translate the context of organizational problems to re-align people and processes with organizational objectives. With more than 25 years of management experience, Sheila has been responsible for the successful leadership of the human resources, training, organizational and workforce development functions in the non-profit, healthcare, consulting, government, and public utility fields.
Sheila currently serves in the Wolf Administration as the Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development in the Department of Labor and Industry for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Leveraging a deputate staff of more than 600 employees and an annual budget of $260M of Federal and State funding, the deputate oversees the planning, oversight and direction of Pennsylvania’s public workforce system. Under Sheila’s leadership, the deputate has leaned into the challenges of a seismic shift in the labor market by creating new and innovative strategies to upgrade service provision at the PA CareerLinks and traverse the digital divide in workforce development by bringing 32 public computing centers online and providing increased access to funding opportunities across a number of industries, including $30M+ of opportunities released in FY21.
Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Sheila served in the Kenney Administration as the Executive Director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Workforce Development. Her charge was to implement the City of Philadelphia’s first citywide workforce development strategy: “Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine.” This comprehensive plan leveraged the collaborative efforts of the city’s major education and workforce development entities to fill the human capital needs of employers and create career pathways for the city’s most vulnerable populations. During her tenure, Sheila created innovative and collaborative approaches that effectively engaged employers, funders, and the workforce development community in the fight against poverty and unemployment in Philadelphia.
Sheila began her time in the Kenney Administration as the Deputy Director of Workforce Development and Inclusion for Rebuild, the City of Philadelphia’s $500M investment in infrastructure improvements to Philadelphia’s parks, libraries, and recreation centers. Sheila’s role was to ensure the Kenney Administration’s promise of workforce diversity in the skilled trades and expanded access to contracting opportunities for minority and women owned businesses was realized.
Previously, Sheila has served as the Vice President of Workforce Solutions at University City District (UCD). Sheila was the founding Director of West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) and lead its growth to prominence as a national model for innovation and effectiveness in workforce development programming. She also launched and shepherded the growth Green City Works, UCD’s first social venture. GCW expanded the demographic footprint of workforce development in West Philadelphia by bringing a new industry to West Philadelphia, expanding the job opportunities for individuals with higher barriers to employment.
Sheila graduated with honors from Community College of Philadelphia with an A.A.S. in Finance, Temple University with a B.B.A. majoring in Human Resources Management, and LaSalle University with a M.S. in Human Capital Development. She holds an SPHR certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. Sheila’s commitment to giving back and passion for education includes roles on multiple non-profit board of directors and serving on the board of trustees for local colleges. Sheila was also named as one of “The 2021 Pennsylvania Labor Power 100” in September 2021.