Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration
Gerri Fiala recently joined the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) as Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training. Prior to this, Gerri served as Staff Director to the HELP Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety chaired by Senator Patty Murray. Here Gerri drafted Senator Murray's "Innovations in 21st Century Careers" bill to make education more relevant for high school students. She also developed bills introduced by Senator Murray during the economic stimulus debate. Key components of these bills were ultimately included in Recovery Act funding provisions for the Department of Labor.
Before coming to Capitol Hill Gerri served in a number of workforce development positions that impacted workers and businesses in the U.S. and abroad. This includes her tenure as Director of Workforce Research for the Workforce Development Strategies Group at the National Center on Education and the Economy. Accomplishments here include management of a project to help the Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning update its labor market information systems.
Gerri served for nearly eight years as Administrator, Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research, in the U.S. Department of Labor. This includes a year as a loaned executive to serve as Senior Counselor for Economic Development to the American Association of Community Colleges. As Administrator, she led interagency efforts to drive job training reform. This work culminated in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000 (creating the Senior Community Service Employment Program). Her leadership on interagency teams also secured the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, and Welfare to Work program, and provided direction to a DOL effort to craft and implement regulations for each of these programs.
Gerri has a Masters of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa, and Associate of Arts from North Iowa Area Community College.