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July 14, 2014

WIB Member Profile: Stephanie Murphy


San Diego Housing Commission Achievement Academy

Established in 1979, the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) is a public agency dedicated to preserving and increasing affordable housing within the City of San Diego. Since 1981, SDHC has contributed more than $1 billion in loans and bond financing to projects that have produced 14,531 affordable rental units. Stephanie Murphy is the director of SDHC’s Achievement Academy, a learning and skills center available to families receiving federal Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) and those living in public housing properties. Murphy is also a member of SDWP’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB). 

SDWP: What motivated you to join the WIB?

Murphy: As director of the San Diego Housing Commission Achievement Academy—and now with more than 15 years of experience in workforce development—I have seen the value that the San Diego Workforce Partnership WIB provides to the community. Having an opportunity to shape where funding and services are offered throughout the community was very important to me. Once I was on the WIB, I had an opportunity to work closely with the staff at SDWP and work with other WIB members, and this aspect has been very valuable. 

SDWP: What issues are you most passionate about as they relate to workforce development?

Murphy: Providing opportunities to low-income youth and adults that help them realize their potential—that’s what we do here at the SDHC Achievement Academy, which emphasizes career planning and job skills for hundreds of our clients who receive federal rental assistance. In addition to training programs, opportunity can arise from a workshop on labor market trends or after attending a recruitment event with a local employer. The services offered by the career centers and SDWP provide information and access to individuals who might not have had those options in the past. 

SDWP: Tell a brief story about a person, event or project that you were involved with that underscored your passion for these issues. 

Murphy: While working for San Diego Career Opportunities Partners, I had an opportunity to be closely involved with a customized training program for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians. The project helped unemployed individuals learn a valuable trade and, upon completion, earn a good living in an in-demand field. Working closely with the community college, the employer and the career center participants showed me how successful our programs can be when everyone works together. Great programs like the HVAC training make me excited to be involved with the WIB and with shaping the future of our workforce development programs. 

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