Portrait-style Photo of Andrea DeSantis
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Andrea DeSantis named Assistant Secretary of Commerce for N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions

Raleigh, N.C.
Apr 3, 2024

Andrea DeSantis, Ph.D., will serve as the next North Carolina Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for the Division of Workforce Solutions (DWS), Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders announced today. She will succeed current Assistant Secretary Chet Mottershead, who is retiring and will remain at the agency for a short time during the transition period.

DeSantis most recently served as a Policy Advisor for Governor Roy Cooper, focusing on issues of workforce development and higher education.

“With her experience in workforce development and education, Dr. DeSantis is poised to provide innovative leadership in this critical position, supporting both jobseekers and employers as we continue to implement our First in Talent Plan,” Secretary Sanders said. “I want to thank Assistant Secretary Mottershead for his leadership at DWS, capping a 30-year career of outstanding public service to North Carolina.”

As a key partner in the NCWorks system, DWS administers workforce programs that prepare North Carolinians for employment and help businesses find the talent they need to thrive.

“I’m eager to join the talented and dedicated team at DWS and continue strengthening our partnerships with local workforce development boards to ensure North Carolinians, especially those with barriers to employment, are able to receive the services and training they need to access the growing number of good-paying jobs across the state,” said DeSantis.

Prior to joining the Governor’s Office in 2022, DeSantis was a Senior Workforce Development Analyst for the NCWorks Commission, the state workforce development board, which is housed at the Department of Commerce. Earlier, she worked as Assistant Director of Research at N.C. State University’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership & Research. DeSantis credits her service with the AmeriCorps VISTA program with sparking her interest in working to enhance equitable access to postsecondary education.

DeSantis holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational, Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at N.C. State University. DeSantis and her family live in Cary.

“It’s been my great privilege to serve the state of North Carolina in a number of roles, highlighted by the opportunity to work with the top-notch team at DWS, Commerce leaders and strong workforce development partners,” said outgoing Assistant Secretary Chet Mottershead. “I’m excited to support Andrea in this leadership transition, as she is uniquely qualified to take this division to even higher levels of success.”

DeSantis’ appointment is effective April 3.



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