January 10, 2019

Columbia County, NY. Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt B. Murrell has appointed James Lapenn, as the Columbia Economic Development Corporation’s (CEDC) representative to the Columbia-Greene Workforce Development Board.

The Columbia-Greene Workforce Development Board (WDB) is a government appointed Board that is responsible for providing leadership for the local workforce development system, which aims to ensure that individuals are employable and that companies have access to a skilled workforce. Their mission includes developing strategies to continuously improve the workforce development system and to promote innovation and alignment among the employment, training, and education programs in the local area. The majority of the WDB Board represent private businesses in Columbia and Greene Counties and it is certified under the New York State Department of Labor’s Workforce Investment Board system.

In making the appointment, Murell said, “Jim Lapenn will add decades of experience to the Workforce Development Board and continue his distinguished career serving our community. I couldn’t be more confident in his appointment.”

“The experience of our Board members is what drives our success,” said Katy Drake, Director of the WDB. “Jim brings an incredible depth of experience from his legal career, community involvement, and ongoing commitment to the workforce through his role at CEDC.”

Lapenn, who resides in Hillsdale, also serves on the CEDC Board Directors and is Chair of its Workforce Development and Education Committee, in addition to serving on the Governance and Nominating and Audit and Finance Committees. He is retired from a career with the international law firm LeBeouf, Lamb, Greene, and MacRae, where he specialized in municipal and project finance. He has also been an active member of the community, including serving as Vice Chairman, and currently Treasurer, for Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Lapenn’s appointment will further strengthen CEDC’s ties to the local workforce development and education system. Other CEDC Board members representing this sector include Columbia-Green Community College President James Campion and Hudson City School District Superintendent Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier. CEDC identified Workforce and Education as one of four strategic pillars in its 2016 Strategic Plan, and has introduced new initiatives to better partner with local businesses, educational institutions, and community organizations to facilitate alignment between job training programs and employer needs.

“Developing a skilled workforce is essential for local companies to be able to grow and to be able to attract new companies to Columbia County,” said CEDC President and CEO F. Michael Tucker. “As we continue to face new employment challenges in the 21st century from globalization and technology-based job displacement, it is critical for economic development organizations, workforce development organizations, educational institutions, and employers to form productive partnerships.”


Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), the leading economic development organization in Columbia County, is committed to strengthening the county’s tax base through economic development and job creation while maintaining the quality of life so desired by the people who live and work here.  For more information about CEDC programs and services, visit www.columbiaedc.com or call 518.828.4718. 


Columbia-Greene Workforce Development Board (WDB) is a government appointed, local Board that is responsible for providing leadership, influence, focus and oversight for our local workforce development system. For the Columbia-Greene area, this means integrating an economic and workforce investment system that provides an environment for success for both business and workers as we all deal with the ever-increasing changes with technology, markets and high performance workplaces.