Workforce Fellow

Sheila Ireland


Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Sheila Ireland is the Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. Sheila previously served as the Executive Director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Workforce Development. Her charge was to implement the City of Philadelphia’s 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 to create career pathways for the city’s most vulnerable populations. During her tenure Sheila created innovative and collaborative approaches that have effectively engaged employers, funders and the workforce development community in the fight against poverty and unemployment in Philadelphia.
Sheila Ireland’s hallmark of success is her ability to translate the context organizational problems to effectively re-align people and processes with organizational objectives. Her ability to create tactical, innovative and strategic initiatives results in programs that drive performance improvement and produce bottom line results in intensely competitive and highly regulated markets.
With more than 25 years of management experience, Sheila has been responsible for the successful leadership of the human resources. training and workforce development functions in the non-profit, healthcare, consulting, government and public utility fields. This includes her time as is the Deputy Director of Workforce Development and Inclusion for Rebuild, the City of Philadelphia’s $500M investment in infrastructure improvements to Philadelphia’s park, 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 a 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.