LEWISBURG - The long-time assistant director has been named the new executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC).

Rachel V. Smith, who has held various positions with the organization for the past 11 1/2 years, including as acting director since January, was appointed to fill the post vacated by Shannon (Miller) Munro. Smith's hiring was announced Friday by Teri MacBride, CPWDC board chairwoman, in a press release from the organization.

MacBride said Smith's workforce experience and knowledge of central Pennsylvania made her the winning candidate in a national search.

"The 41-member board of directors of the CPWDC is confident in Smith's leadership and vision for the organization. She understands the operations, the policy and the key players in the workforce development arena," MacBride said. "During her tenure, Smith has been critical in expanding CPWDC's strategic portfolio by securing millions of dollars in competitive grants and developing CPWDC's internal research department, which provides labor market support to other workforce investment areas, economic developers and employers."

Smith intends to position CPWDC as the visible leader in cultivating a regional conversation about workforce issues, she said in Friday's release.

"In addition to the important oversight we provide to the region's six PA CareerLink facilities, CPWDC has expertise and dedicated staff to be a key partner in planning, executing and evaluating workforce solutions," she said. "I am excited to build on the organization's strong foundation and relationships with many local and regional partners."

Smith is a graduate of Middleburg High School, Shippensburg University and Virginia Tech, where she earned her master's degree in public administration. Smith resides with her family in Union County.

Munro accepted a position at Pennsylvania College of Technology in January. She was in charge in late 2010 when CPWDC made the controversial decision to close CareerLink sites in Shamokin and Selinsgrove and consolidate them in Sunbury.

CPWDC serves as the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) for Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties, and one of 22 such WIBs across the state. Incorporated in 1999, it is responsible for coordinating and developing Central Pennsylvania's workforce system. CPWDC is one of 22 local WIBs across the Commonwealth.