HONESDALE—The Wayne County commissioners bid a heartfelt farewell to Wayne County Employment and Training Center Director Marie McDonnell at their meeting Thursday.
McDonnell was attending to present the commissioners with paperwork pertinent to a financial agreement with Pocono Counties Workforce Investment Area (WIA).
The agreement is part of the earlier changeover process whereby the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance will offer administrative aid and oversight over the county's workforce board in the span of time between McDonnell's retirement and potential organizational changes at the state level in October.
Those assembled took the opportunity to thank McDonnell for her 38 years of dedicated service to the county.
Wayne County Chief Clerk Vicky Botjer expressed her fond memories of being supervised by McDonnell when she was in the county's summer youth programming.
“It's been great. It's been nice working with you again … thanks.”
Chairman Brian Smith stated “I don't know anyone who has delivered their services and helped people with more grace than you have.”
He said she presented a great example for others to follow.
Commissioner Wendell Kay added to this sentiment “As we go forward, I think there will be a lot of continued success in your office … because of the foundation that has so carefully been laid by you and the people that work with you in your office.”
He elaborated, stating that her ability to perform her job with great competence and inspire the same in her workers is an important trait he as an elected official looks for in county department heads.
In thanking McDonnell, Commissioner Joseph Adams commended the “grace, professionalism and caring nature you provide to the county.”
All stated their wishes for her continued success and well being.
Also present to wish McDonnell well were her husband Tom, fellow employment center coworkers Julie Murray Gilbert, Stacey Mizwinski and Ryan Williams, and Veterans Affairs Director Frank Muggeo.
In a latter interview, McDonnell stated that her career with the county has been very satisfying for her, particularly in that she was able to assist so many individuals.
As director of the Employment and Training Center, McDonnell said it was the most rewarding to see a client succeed in finding work.
“It's not that I did it,” she said, “it's that they did it and we supported them.”
Much of the center's functionality involves not only assistance with resume writing, but also in attaining federal funding to help pay for trainings and certifications that help individuals start or change careers.
While McDonnell said she'll miss it a little, she feels that it's time for the next generation to pick up the reins going forward.
She's still open to helping where she can, but for the moment, McDonnell said “I look forward to spending time with my grandchildren.”
A public retirement party was held Friday afternoon to celebrate McDonnell's achievement.