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Closing America's Job Gap: The Role of Higher Education

Mary Walshok, Ph.D., UC San Diego
May 10, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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America and California have a long and impressive history of innovation, entrepreneurship, and new company creation. However, in this new age of global competitiveness where the beneficiaries of innovation, in terms of workforce, can be anywhere in the world, we must transform our lagging workforce development efforts into the kind of world-class systems we already have for innovation and entrepreneurship. That means, first and foremost, aligning our workforce development strategies with our innovation development strategies by building new kinds of impactful partnerships between the regional drivers of innovation and regional providers of education and training. This can only happen if we, as educators, can communicate the fact that our future depends on the adaptability and “educability” of each of our communities to the new realities of global markets and global competitiveness. Something is terribly amiss with the projections of economic growth and jobless recovery.  This talk will examine how to align workforce development and regional economic transformation, drawing upon recent U.S. Department of Labor research on the disparity between jobs created by innovation and workers lacking necessary skills.

Mary WalshokMary Walshok, Ph.D. is associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She oversees a $37 million division that educates 56,000 enrollees annually, plus UCSD-TV and UCTV, which reach 22 million households and millions more through the Web. A thought leader on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth, she is the author of Blue Collar Women, Knowledge Without Boundaries, Closing America’s Job Gap and Invention and the forthcoming Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Entrepreneurial Economy. As an industrial sociologist she has researched various American regions for the U.S. Department of Labor, NSF, and Lilly Foundation.

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