WATCH: Governors’ keynotes, other addresses from Workforce Development Initiative workshops

The Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative launched by WGA Chair South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is leveraging the region’s best thinking to bridge the gap between prospective workers and employers in the West.

Keynotes delivered by Western Governors and other experts have been a highlight of the workshops held in Sioux Falls, Denver and Oklahoma City. Below is a roundup of those keynotes, which highlight topics such as creating enhanced career opportunities for students, graduates and displaced workers to build a more vibrant economy.

  • South Dakota Gov. Daugaard opened the workshop series in Sioux Falls, S.D., with remarks on how the job market has changed in recent decades, challenging the commonly-held notion that all students must attain a four-year college degree. Watch
  • Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke at the Denver workshop, which focused on effective partnerships with industry, about the challenges presented by a tight labor pool in low-unemployment states such as Colorado. Watch
  • Gov. Mary Fallin emphasized the importance of "closing the gap between the skills employees have now and the skills employers will need" in her keynote at the Oklahoma workshop. Gov. Daugaard also delivered remarks at the Oklahoma City event. Watch
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee touted the nobility of all work, the need to develop talent, and the critical importance of innovation in his opening keynote at the Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative workshop in Seattle. Watch
Other keynote addresses have been delivered by:
  • Suzan LeVine, the former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and her husband Eric discussed their work as self-described “evangelists of apprenticeship.”
  • Josh Davies, CEO of the Center for Work Ethic Development, delivered a dynamic examination of how employment has dramatically changed throughout history -- and how it will continue to change dramatically in the future at the Colorado workshop.
  • Giving students real world experience through apprenticeships, work-based learning and mentors was the focus of the keynote delivered by Chauncy Lennon, Managing Director and Head of Workforce Initiatives, Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase in Oklahoma City.

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