|Name||Patricia A. Fahy|
|Address||297 S. Main Ave |
Albany, New York , United States
Dec 30, 2014 03:55am
|Info||Pat Fahy is an experienced advocate for education, jobs, and working New Yorkers |
Pat is best known locally for serving as President of the Albany City School Board, where she fought tirelessly for the educational needs of a diverse student population and to re-build and renovate aging public schools. More recently, she served for more than five years as an Associate Commissioner at the New York State Department of Labor, where she championed workforce development initiatives and advocated for worker and youth employment funding, including from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Pat’s concept paper to give tax credits to businesses that hire young people and the underemployed – NY Youth Works – was championed by Governor Cuomo and became law in December 2011. Pat has made her mark as a staunch advocate for families, youth, and community.
In Pat’s own words: “As a working mother, I am keenly aware of the issues facing our families. I know what it’s like to worry about the rising costs of healthcare, housing, and transportation. And with two children in the public schools, I know we need to build a prosperous future for the next generation by attracting and retaining high-quality, sustainable, twenty-first-century jobs.”
Pat was raised in the Chicago area by working-class, immigrant parents, Eileen and Nicholas Fahy, who instilled in her the values of hard work and the importance of education. She self-financed her education; initially at Moraine Valley Community College, followed by Northern Illinois University, where she earned a BS degree in Political Science, and finally at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned a Masters of Public Administration degree.
A coalition-builder with Federal, state and local policy experience
Pat’s extensive policy and legislative experience began in Washington, DC, as a Presidential Management Intern (now Presidential Management Fellow). Her work continued in DC, first as a legislative assistant for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, drafting legislation for the legendary Senator Paul Simon (D-IL). She continued with the U.S. House of Representatives as a senior legislative analyst for the Committee on Education and Labor, Subcomittee on Employment Opportunities. During her time on Capitol Hill, she organized and managed numerous congressional subcommittee hearings, drafted workforce and literacy legislation and amendments, and delivered dozens of presentations to promote these proposals with numerous national and state organizations. In these positions, Pat gained first-hand knowledge of policies designed to create and keep good jobs in our communities, including working to develop the Re-Employment Act (later becoming the Workforce Investment Act), a proposal to retrain dislocated workers and to create a one-stop career system for all job-seekers.
Working for more and better jobs
Providing access to jobs has been an imperative in Pat’s career. After working for the U.S. House and the Senate, Pat served in the early Clinton Administration as the Associate Director for Employment and Training, in the U.S. Department of Labor Congressional Affairs Office, which was headed by Labor Secretary Robert Reich, advocating for the Department’s priority legislation (the worker Re-Employment Act) on Capitol Hill. A desire to be closer to her large family led her back to Chicago, where she served as founding Executive Director of the business-led Chicago Workforce Board.
While still working on Capitol Hill, a chance meeting on an airplane returning from a congressional hearing introduced Pat to husband, Dr. B. Wayne Bequette, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at RPI. After starting a family, Wayne and Pat settled into their home in Albany, where Pat worked part-time for the state legislature. Pat focused on workforce training, education, juvenile justice, and youth employment programs.
Improving our schools
In December 2005, Pat completed a four-year term as a citywide elected member of the Albany Board of Education. She earned the highest number of votes in her school board election and was unanimously elected by the board to serve as President in 2003. During her tenure, Pat helped foster a school-building initiative that renovated or rebuilt most of the schools in Albany. Continuing her commitment to our children, during her time at the NYS Department of Labor, Pat served as co-chair of the Disconnected Youth Work Group for the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet (2009-10), and served prior to that as a consultant on education and workforce training issues for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute, and the National Commission for Education and the Economy (NCEE).
Pat believes deeply in giving back to her community, and she has been involved with many different service organizations, including:
Board of Directors, the Boys and Girls Club of Albany (2005 to present) (Acting President in 2007; chair of the 2006 annual fund drive).
Board of Directors, Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at SUNY Rockefeller College (2009 to present).
Co-Vice President, Hackett Middle School PTA; PTA member at Albany High.
Founding member, Albany High School Working Group for Extended Learning Opportunities (to promote sports and after-school programs).
Founding Member, Albany PASS (People Advocating Small Schools), a grassroots advocacy organization formed to promote the rebuilding of Albany’s public schools.
Pat and Wayne still live in the house they bought shortly after she moved to Albany. Their son Brendan attends Albany High, and their daughter Eileen attends Hackett Middle School.