WATCH Workforce Development Initiative workshop in Denver, Sept. 18-19

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard spoke at the Denver workshop of the Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative on Sept. 18-19. The workshop's theme was effective partnerships with industry for workforce development. (Read a report on the workshop)

The workshop sessions have archived on WGA’s YouTube page; use the links below to watch the sessions.

The Western Governors' Association (WGA) workshop was the second in a series for the Chairman's Initiative of Gov. Daugaard, WGA’s Chair. The initiative seeks to leverage the region’s best thinking to bridge the gap between prospective workers and employers in the West to create enhanced career opportunities for students, graduates and displaced workers.

Opening Remarks: WGA Executive Director James D. Ogsbury welcomed guests, followed by remarks by WGA Chair and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Keynote: Suzan and Eric LeVine: Suzan LeVine, the former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and her husband Eric delivered remarks about their work as self-described “evangelists of apprenticeship.”

Roundtable: The Role of States in Strengthening Industry Leadership for Talent: A presentation on the role states play in bringing industry to the table and leveraging state resources for workforce development. Moderator: Wendy Brors, Assistant Director, Colorado Workforce Development Council. Panelists: John Aultman, Senior Policy Advisor, Workforce Development, Office of Washington Governor Jay Inslee; Shalee Hodgson, System Alignment Manager, Oregon Employment Department; Tami Pyfer, Education Advisor, Office of Utah Governor Gary Herbert. 

Case Study: Colorado’s Model for Public-Private Partnerships: This case study provided the how and why of setting up successful public-private partnerships. Moderator: Stephanie Veck, Director, Colorado Workforce Development Council. Panelists: Yvonne Myers, Northern Colorado Health Sector Partnership; Elerie Archer, Greater Metro Denver Healthcare Sector Partnership; Thomas Hartman, Colorado Career Pathways Coordinator, Colorado Workforce Development Council.

Roundtable II: Industry-Led Workforce Development Initiatives: States and industry representatives provided examples of successful workforce development initiatives that have been driven by businesses or industry. Moderator: Ellen Golombek, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Panelists: Noel Ginsburg, Founding Executive Board Chair, CareerWise Colorado; Carla Gatzke, VP of Human Resources, Daktronics; Heather Terenzio, Co-founder & CEO, Techtonic Group.

Roundtable III: Aligning Education and Training with Industry Defined Competencies: An exploration of the use of industry-defined competencies to develop meaningful education and training and efforts to encourage employers to hire based on those defined skills. Moderator: Jeff Wasden, President, Colorado Business Roundtable. Panelists: Beth Cobert, CEO, Skillful; Mary LeFebvre, Senior Research Scientist-Workforce Policy, ACT; Andrew Fitzpatrick, Director Global Policy, Walmart.

Looking Around the Curve: Josh Davies, Center for Work Ethic Development, examine how employment has changed throughout history and how it will change in the future. Topics included the impact of automation, the rising role of competency-based education and training, and the importance of partnering with industry. Following that presentation came a moderated discussion among representatives from industries that will be affected by the changes. Moderator: Jim Ogsbury, Executive Director of WGA. Panelists: Chris Houwman, CEO, Malloy Electric, Tom Bugnitz, CEO, Manufacturer’s Edge.

To download the full agenda, click here.

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