Each year, Southern Growth Policies Board starts a conversation in the South on a particular issue related to economic development. We do this by holding community forums, or moderated discussions, in communities large and small across the region.
This year, Southern Growth would like your help in discussing what communities can do to build a competitive workforce for the future. Just as important as informing Southern Growth and other Southern leaders, a forum can be a tool for you to galvanize action in your own community. People often tell us that the forums have led to new networks, a better understanding of the issue, and the start of serious thinking about their community’s future.
The Southern Growth Policies Board's 2012 Chairman's Conference: Re-imagining Workforce Development, was hosted by Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee. The conference examined job and workforce trends, with a view towards reimagining tomorrow's educated worker. The conference explored tough questions, such as: How can we determine the skills needed for future jobs when we're not sure what those jobs will be? How can we raise awareness of potential career paths and opportunities? What are the implications for P-16? What is the business perspective and what role will the business sector play in this preparation? And, perhaps most importantly, how do we connect the dots between different players - from K-12 to community colleges to universities to industry? In addition to exploring these and other important questions, the conference also highlighted new models and ideas in the areas of education and workforce skill development. Check back at a later date for the conference presentations.
Southern Growth Policies Board has long considered workforce issues to be key to regional prosperity. As the Southern Growth Policies Board celebrates its 40th Anniversary, this conference gave us the opportunity to take a look back at what we’ve accomplished in this area of work, what has changed, and how we need to prepare for the future.
For specific questions about how to plan or moderate a community
forum, contact Linda Hoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.