ESU Participates in State System Regional Workforce Assembly September 17

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Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on September 16, 2020, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University Professor of Art + Design, David Mazure, will join other panelists for a discussion aimed at improving the alignment of academic programming with employer needs on September 17, 2020, as part of a month-long series of forums developed by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The series of forums will take place across the Commonwealth so that executives representing key industries can meet with academic and community leaders to learn about best practices and form partnerships to improve access to educational opportunities and meaningful careers for Pennsylvanians.

The Eastern Region Assembly, which includes Mazure and his presentation about ESU’s New Mind Design program for up-and-coming students interested in entering the field of graphic design, will take place on September 17 from 12:45 pm to 1:30 pm.  Mazure will be joined by other panelists including:

  • Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Workforce Board Lehigh Valley
  • Naima Murphy, Vice President, University Relations, Campus Philly
  • Christine Morando, Staffing Coordinator, Division of COVID-19 Containment, Philadelphia Department of Health

Individuals are invited to tune in using this ZOOM link.

New Mind Design is a student-run design agency operated out of the Art + Design Department at East Stroudsburg University. Students apply what they learn in the classroom to the daily operations of running a business. The agency provides student employment and design services to its clientele which include local, regional, and national businesses. New Mind Design continues to employ cutting-edge technology to meet their clients’ needs and incorporates 3D design into their portfolio through the state-of-the-art 3D printers on campus; including 3D head scanning and product design.  The New Mind Design faculty advisors are Mazure Darlene Farris-LaBar, professor and department chair.

The virtual forums are focused on four regions of the Commonwealth, and the benefits of this effort are meant to bolster higher education statewide, including public, private, community, and vocational institutions. The forums, called Workforce Assemblies, are made possible by a collaboration with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Foundation.

“These assemblies enable us to work closely with employers to ensure the credentials and degrees we’re offering align with the state’s workforce needs,” State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein said. “That is a critically important component of public higher education, to offer pathways to career-relevant, quality and affordable degree and non-degree, credentialing programs.”

The Workforce Assemblies are a continuation of an effort started in November 2019, when the State System hosted a two-day summit with 80 chief executives and human resource officers from across the state.

The State System then received funding from the Lumina Foundation and the Strada Education Network to build regional competency maps which highlight education and career pathways in high-priority occupations. Those occupations align in six high-demand industries: advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, energy, finance and business services, healthcare, and information technology.

After this month’s forums, the State System will compile information about the competencies and skillsets required by employers in these high-demand areas and invite universities and community colleges, by September 2021, to propose existing or implement new stackable credentials that align with them.

“A cornerstone of our ongoing reform efforts at the State System is student success, which is why these Workforce Assemblies are an exciting chapter as we redesign the System,” Board of Governors Chair Cindy Shapira said. “We’re collaborating with employers in Pennsylvania and building strategic partnerships, all to better align our programming so graduates are prepared to enter today’s workforce.”

The virtual Workforce Assemblies began earlier this week in the Western Region on September 15. Other assemblies are scheduled for September 22 (Southern Region) and September 24, Northern Region. For more information, please visit Prepared 4 Pa.