Nearly 100 workforce development professionals and industry partners gathered to share ideas, best practices, and programs at the March 16 NEWN conference hosted by NVCC. The event focused on generating solutions that will meet community workforce needs and expand opportunities for partnerships to “Grow Stronger Together.” Dianne Palter Gill, Ed. D., Dean, Corporate and Professional Education, of North Shore Community College and NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. provided opening remarks.
“The conversations you will have today will be very timely discussions and the work you are all doing is very important to ensure that we have a highly-skilled and innovative workforce today and tomorrow,” said President De Filippis. “I am so grateful for the hard work of Laurie Hornbecker, NVCC’s Director of Community and Economic Development, in bringing this beautiful event to the NVCC Waterbury home campus.”
Keynote speaker Philip Jordan, Executive Director of the Economic Advancement Research Institute and Vice President of BW Research Partnership, spoke about three themes most relevant to the future of work and workforce development: the role of technology and innovation, changing social contracts, and global and digital workplaces. Jordan talked about the need to grow “a nation of problem-solvers,” and focus on the development on multi-disciplinary skills to prepare students for careers rather than jobs.
“We can’t train our way out of this problem. We are going to need policy changes, partnerships with industries,” he said.
The general assembly speech was delivered by Kathy Mannes, Vice President of Building Economic Opportunity Group at Jobs for the Future who talked about building economic opportunities for the future.
Break out session topics included a panel presented by General Dynamics/Electric Boat on the educational partnerships they’ve created to meet critical demand for manufacturing workers; developing intercultural communication competence in college and business settings; integrating millennials into a business model; and, an overview of promising employment training practices for (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) SNAP recipients in Connecticut.