Workforce And Training Experts Share Ideas For Preparing A Skilled Workforce

Jan 28, 2014, 15:30 ET from American Association of Community Colleges

Workforce Development Institute brings together community colleges, industry in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How do you prepare for the changing workforce landscape?Workforce and training experts from community colleges throughout the nation, as well as leaders from industry and government, will gather in St. Petersburg, Fla., Jan. 29–Feb. 1, to answer that question at the 2014 Workforce Development Institute (WDI), hosted by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

WDI will attract hundreds of participants from across the country, connecting key stakeholders working to train a better educated, higher-earning workforce nationwide. Representatives from the automotive and energy industries, manufacturing, health care and other sectors will share fresh ideas, out-of-the-box approaches, and unconventional solutions to revitalizing the workforce and economic growth of our communities and our nation. Community college leaders will share their stories of forging successful partnerships with local employers and preparing the workforce of today and tomorrow.

Featured speakers include representatives from the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Homeland Security, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, and the Environment Protection Agency.  AACC President and CEO Walter G. Bumphus will update attendees on the progress of the implementation of the recommendations of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a national, blue-ribbon group of education experts.

Participants will have an opportunity to tour Air Products' Port Manatee location on Jan. 30. The company is an industry leader in liquefied natural gas technology. That same day, St. Petersburg College will lead attendees on a tour of the college's Caruth Health Education Center.

On Jan. 31, a disaster response demonstration will be held at Al Lang Stadium, orchestrated by Indian River State College (Fla.), Northeast Community College (Neb.) and the National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education. It will be followed by a baseball game between two community college teams— the St. Petersburg College Titans and Delgado Community College Dolphins (La.).

Following are more highlights of WDI. A full agenda for the institute is available at Sessions and workshops take place at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.

Thursday, January 30

Opening Plenary Session— Keynote by AACC President and CEO Walter G. Bumphus; St. Petersburg College President William Law, Jr.; Nicholas T. Pinchuk, chairman and CEO of Snap-On, Inc.; Kathryn Mannes, senior vice president of workforce and economic development, AACC. (8:15-10:15 a.m.)

Lunch and Plenary Session: A View From the Top—Keynote by Dustin Cagle, college postsecondary vice president, SkillsUSA; Mark Mitsui, deputy assistant secretary for community colleges, U.S. Department of Education; Eric Seleznow, deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. (12:00–1:45 p.m.)

Preparing Prepared Communities—A discussion on the role of community colleges in training fire, police, emergency medical and hazardous material personnel. The discussion will be followed by campus scenarios. (2:00–4:00 p.m.)

Friday, January 31

Virtual Career Network: Beyond Health Care—The Virtual Career Network (VCN) is nearing its second anniversary and has added two new sectors—transportation and green jobs. The discussion will focus on improvements to the VCN and how colleges, employers and students are using it. (9:15–10:30 a.m.)

Lunch and Plenary Session: Flipped, Flexible and Fun Learning Options—Keynote by Richard Arthur, GE Global Research; Dale Dougherty, founder and CEO of Maker Media, Inc.; Tom Ruhe, vice president of entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation; Logan Smalley, director, Ted-Ed. (12:15–1:45 p.m.)

Eat, Drink and Be Merry— Attendees of this session will engage with colleges running a range of hospitality-driven training programs including a robust wine production effort in Oregon, a pilot program for food trucks through a campus culinary program in Wisconsin and a multi-hotel and cruise ship college partnership in Florida. (3:45–4:30 p.m.)

Saturday, February 1

Super Plenary Session— This session will focus on challenges from industry to prepare high-quality talent and provide educational experiences akin to the real world of work. Representatives from Snap-on Tools, Trane, Toyota Motor Sales and others will speak on the topic. (7:45–10:00 a.m.)

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization representing the nation's almost 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges and their more than 13 million students.  Community colleges are the largest sector of higher education, currently serving almost half of all U.S. undergraduates.  For more information about AACC and community colleges, see .

SOURCE American Association of Community Colleges