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Workforce Central

Workforce Central is the official podcast of the National Association of Workforce Boards. Join NAWB President/CEO, Ron Painter as he interviews public and private sector leaders in workforce development, education, business and economic development on key workforce issues and investment strategies to help America compete globally.
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Nov 14, 2019

Mark Plunkett, Senior Director of Business Development at CompTIA, joins the program to discuss the current state of careers in technology, the need for talent, and what employers are looking for. He also reveals what workforce boards need to think about when it comes to helping to attract individuals into tech careers, and how to make tech jobs accessible to all.

If you’re interested in a discussion with Mark and the CompTIA Custom Training team, you can contact him at mplunkett@comptia.org.

Oct 2, 2019

This episode features an interview with Sheree Utash, President of WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology, and Vice President of Workforce Development for WSU. Sheree discusses the creation of the National Center for Aviation Training, and the need for the technical education system to prepare students for high demand jobs. She also reveals the education and workforce challenges and opportunities in her region, and what workforce boards need to think about when it comes to skill development.

Sep 19, 2019

This episode features an interview with Earl Anthony Wayne, An accomplished diplomat and executive, Ambassador Wayne has served in a wide variety of positions during his career, including as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Argentina, Deputy Ambassador in Afghanistan, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. In this episode, he discusses where the U.S. ranks when it comes to preparing for the workforce challenges of tomorrow, the skills that workers will need, and the need to understand the global supply chain.

To learn more, visit https://www.wilsoncenter.org/collection/the-north-american-workforce-development-initiative

Sep 6, 2019

This episode features an interview with Earl Anthony Wayne, An accomplished diplomat and executive, Ambassador Wayne has served in a wide variety of positions during his career, including as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Argentina, Deputy Ambassador in Afghanistan, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. In this episode, he discusses the impact of trade agreements on the economy, the need for employers to provide training for workers, and the importance of cooperation between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Stay tuned for part 2 of NAWB President and CEO Ron Painter's interview with Ambassador Wayne!

Aug 19, 2019

Mary Alice McCarthy, Director of the Center on Education and Skills with the Education Policy program at New America, joins the program to discuss the current state of apprenticeships and work-based learning. Discover the work that New America is doing to advance youth apprenticeships on a national level. Mary Alice reveals why apprenticeships are increasing in popularity with parents and students, and the potential drawbacks of short-term credentialing programs.

Jul 23, 2019

Jamie Fall, Director of UpSkill America at the Aspen Institute, joins the program to discuss the importance of employers investing in their employees, and the benefits of those investments for both employees and employers. He reveals some of the workforce and economic trends that have motivated employers to take the lead when it comes to investing in their employees, as well as the increasing range of investments being made by employers.

Jul 10, 2019

Jay Lucas, CEO and Chairman of the Lucas Group, joins the program to discuss the Newport Sunshine Initiative and the work that is being done to build a stronger economic base and enhance opportunity in Newport, He also discusses some of the particular challenges and opportunities facing small towns in the U.S. and lessons learned from his experiences so far. To learn more, visit https://www.jaylucas.us/ and to get Jay's book, visit https://www.amazon.com/American-Sunshine-Rays-Hope-Opportunity-ebook/dp/B07BZYPKC7

Jun 26, 2019

Today's episode features an interview with the winners of the 2019 Laurie Moran Partnership Award. The award is given jointly to a workforce development board and chamber of commerce that have formed a significant partnership to advance the workforce and economic development of their local region. The Partnership Award is named in honor of Laurie Moran, who served on the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board from 2001 to 2016 and was President of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce from 2002 until her passing. She was a member of the Board of the National Association of Workforce Boards from 2004 to 2015, serving as chair from 2011 to 2013. The featured guests and winners are Ashley Cagle, Assistant Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development, Vice President, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Kimberly Wheeler, Director Business Engagement for the Capital Area Workforce Development. Discover how the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce/Wake County Economic Development Program forged an effective partnership with Capital Area WDB, Wake Technical Community College and NC State University to recruit HCL Technologies, a dynamic information technology global enterprise headquartered in India, to demonstrate the existence of a highly capable skilled workforce, and enable HCL Technologies to grow and flourish in the Research Triangle regional market

Jun 18, 2019

This episode features an interview with Robyn Safron, Senior Human Resources Manager of HydraForce. HydraForce was recognized by the National Association of Workforce Boards as the recipient of the 2019 W.O. Lawton Business Leadership Award. Robyn reveals how HydraForce partnered with their local workforce board to meet their immediate and long-term talent needs, and shares advice for other companies looking to do the same.

May 31, 2019

The West Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board was presented with the 2019 WIOA Trailblazer Award in a ceremony at the NAWB Forum in Washington D.C. The award, which is an initiative of the NAWB, recognizes innovation and leadership in developing and delivering workforce solutions in the community. In this episode, Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works! joins the program to discuss some of innovative practices happening in his region, the importance of developing partnerships, and shares advice and tips for success.

May 14, 2019

Steve Wooderson, CEO of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), Rita Martin, Deputy Director of CSAVR, and Kathy West-Evans, Director of Business Relations for CSAVR, ,join the program to discuss the impact that technology has had on vocational rehabilitation, the changing demographics of who is served, as well as industry trends.

May 1, 2019

Tamar Jacoby, President of Opportunity America, and Anne Kim, Vice President of Domestic Policy at The Progressive Policy Institute, join the program to discuss the report Work, Skills, Community: Restoring Opportunity for the Working Class – a slate of bipartisan proposals to create jobs, train and retrain workers and revitalize blue-collar communities.

Apr 17, 2019

Russell Krumnow, Director of Economic Mobility and Poverty Project at Convergence and Lisa Schumacher. Director of Education Strategies at McDonald's Corporation join the program to discuss how to close the education gap for low-wage workers. Discover how Convergence is creating dialogues between stakeholders with differing views, and how they are coming together to break down barriers for workers.

Apr 3, 2019

Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and author of "The Once and Future Worker- A Vision of Work in America" joins the program to discuss trends for the future of work, the impact that technology will have on workers, and the cultural importance of work. Oren reveals his thoughts about how we can rethink our assumptions about work and education, and how to ensure that every American has an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society.

To order Oren's book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Once-Future-Worker-Renewal-America/dp/1641770147/

Mar 12, 2019

Jim McCutcheon, CEO of HighGrove Partners, LLC and Teddy Russell, CEO of Russell Landscape Companies, join the program to discuss the benefits of landscaping as a career and the breadth of jobs available. They also reveal misconceptions about the industry, as well as future trends.

Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Isabel Sawhill, senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution , joins the program to discuss her book The Forgotten Americans: An Economic Agenda for a Divided Nation. Dr. Sawhill addresses the enormous divisions in American society—economic, cultural, and political—and what might be done to bridge them. She reveals the core values of the segment of the U.S. population that she calls "The Forgotten Americans", and what they are looking for from work and from their employers.

To learn more and to get a copy of the book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Americans-Economic-Agenda-Divided/dp/0300230362

Feb 6, 2019

Jonathan Blitt, CEO of Aztec Software, joins the program to discuss the need for personalized adult education and distance learning and the impact it can have on the labor market. He also reveals the most in-demand skills for employers and surprising places to find new talent.

Jan 23, 2019

This episode features an interview with Robert Doar, the Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Robert discusses how connecting low-income individuals to job opportunities is a key piece of lifting people out of poverty, and how to combine job placement efforts with additional assistance in order to get the best results.

Jan 8, 2019

This epiosde features Clark Coco, dean of Washburn Institute of Technology in Topeka, Kansas as he discusses National CTE Letter of Intent Signing Day, a national event that recognizes students beginning career and technical education.

The National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) is sponsoring the sixth annual National CTE Letter of Intent Signing Day across the country on February 21st, 2019. The event mirrors the NCAA’s National Signing Day for athletes who commit to play sports in college, but instead of athletes, NC3’s Signing Day is designed to honor students who are entering a technical field and to celebrate the dignity of work.

Nov 15, 2018

Richard Lum from Vision Foresight Strategy, returns to the program to discuss emerging trends and the future of work. He discusses how to separate out "noise" from truly important data and how to sift through various information sources. He also reveals his thoughts about how automation and A.I. may impact the future economy and workforce. 

Sep 28, 2018

Greg Biggs, CEO of Vander-Bend Manufacturing, joins the program to discuss the changes in manufacturing, what skills are required for advanced manufacturing, and the efforts that his company is making to attract and retain top talent. Greg also challenges some misconceptions about the impact of automation and robotics on the manufacturing industry. 

Sep 10, 2018

Pete Sepp, President of the National Taxpayers Union, joins the program to discuss the NTU's position about tariffs, job training and education funding in the U.S. Discover the potential impact that tariffs can have on U.S. jobs, and what industries could be effected most.

Aug 8, 2018

Ellen Davis, President of the NRF Foundation and Senior Vice President of research and strategic initiatives at the National Retail Federation, joins the program to discuss the facts and misconceptions about the retail industry in the U.S., the impact that retail has on other industries, and what workforce boards need to know about retail.

Aug 1, 2018

Recorded live at FORUM 2018, Roger Tadajewski, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Certification Centers, joins the program to discuss the work that the organization is doing to develop strong industry partnerships with educational institutions in order to develop, implement and sustain industry-driven and industry recognized, portable certifications that have strong validation and assessment standards in the transportation, energy and aviation sectors.

Jul 30, 2018

In this special episode, recorded live at FORUM 2018, Ron Painter is joined by Beth Cobert, CEO of Skillful. Discover the importance of building a skills-based labor market and the efforts that Skillful has been taking to achieve that goal.

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