On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce presented its Skill Ready Doña Ana program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Summit, “Connecting the Dots: Education, Policy, Workforce,” in Washington, D.C.
This year’s summit explored the current role of federal, state and local public education as well as how both the private and public sectors are focusing efforts on the nation’s skills gap. A sold out room of more than 450 professionals were in attendance.
The day was broken up into two major panel discussions: a focus on common core standards and on addressing the skills gap. In addition, speakers including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings discussed the importance education plays in shaping the country’s new economy.
During the day, the U.S. Chamber unveiled its new Profiles of Change video series, which included a segment on The Bridge of Southern New Mexico and the Arrowhead Early College High School. To see the video in its entirety, visit http:// profilesofchange.org and scroll down the right side of the screen.
The Addressing the Skills Gap panel included Bill Allen, CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce; Balaji Ganapathy, head of Workforce Effectiveness for Tata Consultancy Services; Peter Hutchinson, management consultant strategy lead for Accenture; and Wil James, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing. The panel was moderated by Andy Van Kluenen, executive director of the National Skills Coalition.
The panelists were selected because each of their organizations have contributed to closing the skills gap in their respective fields. Prior to beginning the skills gap panel, the video on The Bridge was shown, a perfect lead-in to the discussion on SkillReady Doña Ana.
Feedback from both the panelists and the audience affirmed that we are doing the right thing in Doña Ana County. The key things noted were the collaboration that was evident here in southern New Mexico from both private and public sectors and the long-term focus of our initiative.
It was an honor to represent the Chamber, the business community and Las Cruces community at large in such a prestigioussetting and among the people whoattended the summit.
Up next is The Close It Summit in November, again in Washington, D.C. This summit will bring together business and education leaders, human resource practitioners, workforce and youth development innovators, social impact organizations and policy experts actively engaged in creating new talent pathways to close the skills gapand bridge the opportunity divide.
Members should be proud of all the national recognition that the Chamber is receiving for its programs and services; and because of what the Chamber is doing in Doña Ana County is being looked upon so positively, both trips are being sponsored.
Thanks to the U.S. Chamber and Innovate+Educate for their support. Stay tuned for a recap on the Close It Summit in the December edition of the Bottom Line.
Andy Van Kluenen, executive director of the National Skills Coalition, moderates a panel discussion by Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Allen, Tata Consultancy Services Workforce Effectiveness Head Balaji Ganapathy, Toyota Motor Manufacturing President Wil James and Accenture Management Consultant Strategy Lead Peter Hutchinson during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Summit, “Connecting the Dots: Education, Policy, Workforce,” Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Washington, D.C.