West Virginia Women Work, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was founded in 2000 by Lisa Diehl, a long time advocate for women on issues related to nontraditional employment, economic self-sufficiency and poverty and from the beginning, Janis Gunel has served as the Executive Director.  The organization strives to help women in West Virginia earn a living wage. The primary focus of the organization’s activities has been to help women explore, train and secure employment in nontraditional occupations, especially the skilled trades.

While the nonprofit’s headquarters is in Morgantown, there are presently four active training sites (Step-Up for Women) located in the state in Morgantown, Charleston, Huntington, and Bridgeport. This program boasts an 80% job placement rate with new graduates earning a minimum of $3 more per hour than a traditional job.

In past years, our organization also served over 1,000 women in West Virginia with our career coaching service, computer literacy classes and public career exploration workshops.



Kristina Szczyrbak, Executive Director

(304) 598-0114

Kristina joined the West Virginia Work team in 2006, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA then as the North Central Step Up for Women Job Developer/Program Coordinator. As an AmeriCorps she worked directly with clients in the Career Coaching, Computer Literacy, and Adult Mentoring programs. During her time as Step Up Coordinator, she successfully graduated thirteen classes and worked with almost 200 training participants placing over 80% of them in nontraditional construction jobs. Kristina holds a WV Residential Contractor’s License and in 2010 was recognized as a Generation Next Award winner for her work with Step Up for Women and other local nonprofit organizations. 


Lakiesha Hines, Job Developer / Program Coordinator, Bridgeport Area

(304) 848-2283

Melinda Perron, Job Developer / Program Coordinator, Huntington Area

(304) 528-9991

Nichole Stephenson, Job Developer / Program Coordinator, Kanawha Valley Region 
(304) 720-1402

Carmen Bowes, Development Manager, HQ Office Morgantown 
(304) 598-0114

Jessica Varner, Job Developer / Program Coordinator, North Central Region
(304) 598-0114

Dezmine Teets, Assistant to the Director / Office Manager, HQ Office Morgantown

(304) 598-0114


Board Members

  • Board Chair: Millie Karlin, The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • Board Treasurer: Jerri Walls, Assistant Vice President, United Bank
  • Lisa Diehl, WVWW Founder
  • Barbara Fleishauer, House of Delegates Member
  • Jeremy Jeffers, State Director of Apprenticeship, United Brotherhood of Carpenters
  • Meena Ahluwalia, Owner, Padgett Business Services
  • Chele Varner, Community Office Manager, First United Bank & Trust