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Long-Time Washington Hospital Employee Honored for Community Service

May 13, 2014

Martha Giggleman has spent much of her career fostering a strong and vibrant workforce, both at Washington Hospital and within the greater community. Recently the long-time Washington Hospital employee received a commendation for her "extraordinary dedication and many years of distinguished service" from the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, where she served for 11 years.

"The economic strength of any community depends on having a workforce that is trained for the jobs that are available," said Giggleman, who until recently was senior director of Clinical Workforce Development and Magnet Project director at Washington Hospital, where she worked for 20 years. She is a registered nurse with a Doctor of Nursing Practice. "If the county wants to retain and attract employers, there has to be a viable workforce with the required skills. Economic health is critical to physical and emotional health. We have to make sure people can get the training they need to secure gainful employment."

Giggleman joined the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board in 2002 and spent countless hours over the years working on board business. In that time, she chaired the board's Economic Development Committee for a few years and served on the Executive Committee.

The board includes business, civic, education, labor, and other community leaders and is appointed by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The Alameda County Workforce Investment Board represents all of Alameda County outside of Oakland. Oakland has its own Workforce Investment Board.

The board's mission is to provide employers and job seekers with universal access to tools, resources, and services that assist them with obtaining their employment and business goals. It is authorized under the federal Workforce Investment Act to oversee the implementation of local workforce development activities. California will receive approximately $454 million from the federal government this year to provide services for adults, laid-off workers, and youth, according to the California Employment Development Department.

"Much of our work was around securing and administering grants and ensuring that funded training programs were relevant," Giggleman said. "I spent a lot of time working with local colleges, foundations, and other funding sources."

One of the biggest projects she worked on with the board was the closing of the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont in 2010, which left thousands of local workers unemployed.

"We worked with NUMMI for several years to make sure people had access to the training they needed to find new jobs and all the benefits they were entitled," she explained.

Giggleman is also proud of the work she did with the board to increase educational opportunities for nurses. She said there will continue to be a high demand for nurses with specialized training under health care reform.

"I felt like I was making a difference in my community,"Giggleman said. "I made some wonderful friends during my time on the board and hopefully helped a few people along the way. Washington Hospital is a great hospital that is doing the right thing by supporting the community and getting involved in important issues like workforce development."

For information about programs and services offered by Washington Hospital, go to www.whhs.com.

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