Management Team

Amy Desjardins

As Executive Director, Amy Desjardins is a leader and advocate for workforce development, with a career dedicated to fostering economic growth and enhancing opportunities for individuals and communities. Before joining WDI, Amy was Assistant to the President at the New York State AFL-CIO, helping implement organizational strategies using member engagement in issue advocacy. From her years working for the NYS labor movement, she has seen firsthand how labor standards can raise workers' pay, benefits, and safety on the job.

Under Amy's leadership, the Workforce Development Institute has expanded its invaluable partnerships with labor, employers, apprenticeships, and community organizations. These collaborations have resulted in pioneering initiatives that empower individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in new emerging industries.

She believes that access to quality education and training should be a fundamental right for all, regardless of background or circumstance. She has led programs with partners that break down barriers and create pathways to success for underrepresented communities.

Amy joined WDI's Board of Directors and Executive Committee in 2011, where she acted as a liaison for labor to provide strategic coordination of workforce trends and opportunities across the state. As an upstate transplant from Staten Island, she resides in the Capital District with her husband and son. Amy is an avid hockey mom who enjoys spending time with her family when not fighting to help strengthen New York's workforce.

Read a message from the Executive Director here.


Allison Bashkoff

Allison Bashkoff joined WDI as Chief Financial Officer in 2011. She began her career at Honeywell Information Systems in Boston working in the manufacturing sector. After moving back to the Capital Region, where she was born and raised, Allison held a variety of leadership and CFO positions in both financial services and healthcare before arriving at WDI. Allison’s diverse work experience in various industries for both large and small organizations, coupled with her strategic thinking, have made her an integral part of WDI’s leadership team as the organization has grown. She holds a BA in Economics and Finance from Boston College and an MBA from the University at Albany.

Dan Cullen

As WDI's Director of Field Services, Dan oversees a statewide team that works with over 1,000 unions, businesses, and other organizations annually to ensure they have the resources they need to provide skill training and quality career opportunities for the current workforce, and to create new jobs.

Previously as a Regional Director for WDI, he supported programs in industries from agriculture to aerospace, facilitating solutions including employee training for incumbent workers and union apprentices, skill development for unemployed individuals, and programs that improve employment accessibility for immigrants, refugees, and individuals with disabilities.

Prior to WDI he recruited for businesses in manufacturing, warehousing, and financial services. He then went on to the NYS Department of Labor where he was involved in the design and operation of programs aimed to help long-term unemployed individuals return to the workforce.

Dan was named "40 Under 40" by the Albany Business Review in 2017. He is on the Board of Directors for the Capital District Women's Employment & Resource Center and the Advisory Board of the Green Economy Fund. Dan is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Political Science and History.