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August 20, 2019

North Carolina’s CEOs have stated that their number one concern is the availability of skilled talent.

Today’s employers are ever more aware of the need for effective education systems at all levels to ensure students are prepared for the 21st-century global marketplace. This event brings together educators and business leaders to share ideas and collaborate on the roles each can play in ensuring the state’s students are college and career ready for the jobs of tomorrow.

Educators may be eligible to earn continuing education credits for attending. Please check with your LEA for approval.

Please note: Exhibitor sponsorships are SOLD OUT for this event.
Presented By
  • Biogen Logo


Tuesday, August 20
7:45 amRegistration and Networking
8:30 amOpening and Welcome Remarks

Emcee: Marcelo Anderson, Global Head of Corporate Partnerships, Biogen

8:45 amSetting an Education Attainment Goal to Meet NC Businesses’ Skills Needs

It is estimated that 2 million North Carolinians will need a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030. We currently have 1.3 million citizens that meet this need. Closing this educational attainment gap in North Carolina will be no easy feat. Learn how NC businesses can engage in this demand-driven initiative, working with myFutureNC and stakeholders locally, regionally and statewide .

9:15 amLaying the Foundations for Education Attainment: Increasing Third-Grade Reading Proficiency

Hear an update on the business community’s progress to increase 3rd-grade reading proficiency and how county superintendents are prioritizing, and addressing challenges to, expanded access to NC Pre-K. A data dashboard will illustrate county-by-county NC Pre-K participation and challenges.

9:45 amDemand Planning: Filling the Skills Needs of Local and Regional Businesses

Talent Pipeline Initiative Launch
Gary Salamido, Chief Operating Officer, NC Chamber

Carolinas’ Energy Workforce Consortium
Melissa Miranda, Vice President of Human Resources, ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc.

HBCU Partnership Challenge
Dr. Paulette Dillard, President, Shaw University

The NC Chamber Foundation is tackling our state’s workforce challenges head-on by expanding the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) program within our state. This nationally recognized program will help NC businesses in multiple sectors transform their workforce pipelines. Learn how this demand-driven, employer-led approach to close the skills gap by building pipelines of talent aligned to dynamic business needs is getting underway.

Also hear how North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are working to increase the education attainment of their students to meet the needs of NC businesses.

10:15 amNetworking Break
10:45 amCollaboration Breakout Session: Land of Sky Education Consortium

Learn how four counties in western North Carolina are coming together to increase education attainment and address the unfilled, high-skill, high-paying jobs and large achievement gaps in their region, focusing on the entire pre-K through adult education continuum. Hear what it takes to get this type of effort off the ground.

10:45 amCollaboration Breakout Session: STEM East Network

STEM East is developing networks through the collaborative efforts of regional businesses, school districts, economic development municipalities, private foundations, state and local government and many others in Eastern North Carolina. Learn how they are engaging with students to provide real-world STEM learning opportunities that directly align with career opportunities in the region .

11:30 amLunch
12:15 pmLunch Keynote: Skills that Pay the Bills

Peyton Holland, Executive Director, SkillsUSA North Carolina

The path to success is a 4-year degree … or is it? Millions of jobs are and will go unfilled because there are not enough people with the skills needed to fill them. For decades, we’ve told a story that places more value on a degree hanging on the wall than the skills needed to build that wall. As a result, we’ve created a “skills gap” that will impact all of us, from the cars we drive to the places we live and work. Peyton helps audience members understand how we fell into the gap and how we can move forward. From guiding companies to refresh their strategies for engaging the next generation of their workforce, to challenging individual members of society to change the conversations we have about education, Peyton helps the audience see how skill is not only a critical economic driver, but it is something that impacts each of our daily lives. Audience members will walk away with a new perspective on education and what skill truly means.

1:05 pmCollaboration Breakout Session: K-64 Catawba County

Learn how K-64 is shaping future careers and preparing a qualified workforce in Catawba County by collaborating with employers to align coursework with workforce needs and connecting students to real-world careers and related curriculum choices early on.

1:05 pmCollaboration Breakout Session: Wake STEM Early College High School and NC State College of Engineering
  • Michael Ray, Managing Director, South Central Engineering, Experis
  • David Schwenker, Principal, Wake STEM Early College High School
  • Dr. Laura Bottomley, Director, Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place, North Carolina State University
  • Linda Brannan, Career Development Coordinator, Wake STEM Early College High School
  • Facilitator: Pam Townsend, SVP, Southeast Regional Business Manager, WSP USA

The Wake STEM Early College High School and NC State University are solving the “14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century” through strong collaboration and hands-on, project-based learning. Learn how this initiative is engaging with girls and under-represented student populations to generate interest in STEM fields.

1:50 pmNetworking Break
2:15 pmEducation Leaders of North Carolina Town Hall
  • Peter Hans, President, NC Community College System
  • Mark Johnson, North Carolina State Superintendent
  • Dr. Hope Williams, President, North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities
  • Kevin Howell, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development, North Carolina State University
  • Facilitator: Dr. Andrew Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy, The University of North Carolina System

Education leaders across the continuum in North Carolina will answer your questions about how business and education can better collaborate to increase education attainment, especially at the local and regional level.

3:00 pmClosing Comments