A Brief History of NAWI

The National Association for Workforce Improvement has its roots in the State Research Coordinating Unit that arose in the 1963 Vocational Education Act. Out of a desire to share needs and concerns, the directors of the SRCUs formed the National Research Coordinating Unit Director's Association in 1966. This group met annually and was funded by USOE until the mid-70s. Funding was dropped at this time by USOE because it was determined that research and development should be a state function.

The southeast and midcentral states were especially active in holding one or more meetings a year from about 1970 until the early 80s. At that time the function expanded from research and development, management information systems, and accountability to the broader concept of Program Improvement. Program Improvement consisted of six functions: Research and Development, Curriculum Development, Professional Development, Exemplary Programs, Sex Equity, and Career Guidance.

Legislation changed, and the requirement that each state have a research coordinating unit was dropped. Since there was no longer a ready-made membership base for the organization, the leadership of the NRCUA decided to broaden the appeal of the organization and changed its name to the National Association of Vocational Education Improvement or NAVEPI. Eventually NAVEPI joined with the American Vocational Information Association to host joint conferences. These two groups later formed independent associations, necessitating another name change to the National Association of Workforce Improvement (NAWI). During recent years, NAWI has built a reputation for providing high quality, relevant conference events.

NAWI is a not-for-profit program of CMF Inc., a 501c3 non profit dedicated to promoting a renewed culture of innovation, innovation education, and the advancement of scientific research.

  See also:
Mission Statement
Constitution and Bylaws