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The Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board (C&I WIB) is a regional, private sector led agency responsible for overseeing all publicly funded vocational education and training programs. The WIB is organized as a private non-profit 501 c (3) corporation, formed to carry out the mandates of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

The agency was established in 1982 as a Private Industry Council, with the Cape Cod area part of the New Bedford region. In 1992 the regions separated due to the Cape’s increasing population and unique needs, and the local agency was then named the Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Regional Employment Board. On July 1, 2000 the Workforce Investment Act was instituted and the current name of the organization was adopted.

The Cape and Islands WIB is led by a Board of Directors that must have over 50% private sector representation, and the Chairman of the Board must be from the private sector. The members are appointed by a Chief Elected Official (CEO), in our case County Commissioner Sheila Lyons.

The chief role of the WIB is to ensure that public sector investments in education and training match up with local private sector needs. To meet this role the WIB guides the formation of a regional workforce development system, serving as a major link between the region’s economic development agencies, training providers, educational institutions, and employers. The WIB develops a blueprint that analyzes the needs and gaps in the local labor market, the types of training that are needed, and the size and characteristics of the population to be served. In addition the WIB administers or oversees a number of federal and state programs including; the Career Opportunities Center in Hyannis (the federal one-stop career service centers), the School-to-Careers program, the state Workforce Training Fund, and programs administered by JTEC.

Cape Islands & Workforce Investment Board Address
426 North St | Suite 9
Hyannis, MA 02601
(508) 775-3344


Tonja Mettlach 
Executive Director
Tonja Mettlach is the Executive Director of MWA and over her career has worked in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Previously, Tonja was the Director of Government Affairs for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN). In this role, Tonja led MNN’s state and federal advocacy efforts and collaborated with government officials and external stakeholders on policy issues impacting the nonprofit sector. Tonja previously worked at the MA State House, first as chief of staff to former Representative Tom Conroy on the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and then as committee counsel for Representative Jennifer Benson, House Chair of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. Tonja holds a B.A. and M.S. from Clark University and a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

Raija Vaisanen 
Associate Director
Raija Vaisanen is the Associate Director of MWA and has more than fourteen years of experience in workforce and economic development policy implementation and applied social science research. Previously, Raija was Director of Research at Commonwealth Corporation; Massachusetts’ quasi-public workforce development agency. Raija also worked for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development under the Patrick Administration as Project Manager for Manufacturing and Innovation.  From 2007 to 2013, Raija was a researcher in the Economic and Public Policy Research unit at the UMass Donahue Institute. She is a graduate of UMass Amherst (B.A., M.P.P.A.).   

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