General consensus seems to agree that there is a disconnect between educators and employers while addressing skills gap concerns, boomers retiring, millennials career choices, employee retention and the often overlooked ready to work talent pool who have generally been upskilled or reskilled.

This 2nd roundtable event included leadership discussions, guidance and workshop to learn how some companies are working directly with training institutions and together, how they can help you understand your role, the opportunities you and your company have and to learn new approaches to hiring.

Welcome   8:30 – 8:45 

Beverly Riddick, Executive Director, Ready To Work Business Collaborative

Keynote   8:45 – 9:15 

Guy Finne, Manager Human Resources, Mayo Clinic
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9:15 – 9:45  Core Competencies – Core Score – Assess –  Hire – Train – Advance

Jamai Blivin, CEO, Innovate+Educate
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9:45 – 10:15 Career and Technical Education and Middle Skills Training – Addressing the Skills of Tomorrow With Education Alternatives

Mary Toner, Advisory Coordinator, CTE Business Career Pathways Academy
Karin McCabe, Outreach Director, McGough Construction
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Break   10:15 – 10:30

Educator & Employer Panel Discussions

10:30 – 11:15  4-Year College Partnerships

Moderator: Angela Lurie, Sr. Regional Vice PresidentRobert Half

Craig Yolitz, Vice President Operations – Thomson Reuters
Kevin Tharp, Program Dir. for the B.S. in Digital Marketing Technology – Univ. of Wisconsin-Stout
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Dena Lerra, Incumbent Program Manager and
Katherine Decelles, Academic and Career Coach – Partners Healthcare

Melissa Goldberg, Senior Workforce Strategist – College for America at Southern New Hampshire University
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11:15 – 12:00  Community College Partnerships

Moderator: Josh Copus, VP & COO, National Association of Workforce Boards

Lori Tapani, Co-President/Owner – Wyoming Machine
Heidi Braun, Director of Workforce Development – Pine Technical College
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Stephanie Royal, Exec. Dir. of Workforce Partnerships – LaGuardia Comm. College
Tom Ogletree, Director of Social Impact – General Assembly
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Lunch   12:00 – 12:45

12:45 – 1:30  Bootcamp Panel: Employers Who See the Value in Bootcamps

Moderator: Moderator: Michelle Ufford, Executive Director, NE Minnesota Office of Job Training

Melanie Augustin, ZipCode Wilmington

Brian Hancock, Executive Director, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health – N.J.

Martha Laboissiere, Program Director McKinsey – Generation Initiative
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1:30 – 2:00  Panel: Employer-led Social Responsibility: Candidate Pipeline and Retention Improvement

Janette Smrcka, Information Technology Director, Mall of America
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Nicolle Mills, Executive Director, Oasis
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Worklab Innovations – Sustainable Workforce
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Mindy Ysasi, Executive Director – The SOURCE

2:00 – 2:30  The Value in Apprenticeships

Daniel Villao – Department of Labor

Break   2:30 – 2:45

2:45 – 4:30 Workshop: How to Build Collaborative Plans Between Employers and Educators

Employer Plan:

  • how to approach an educator
  • how to articulate workforce needs both internally and externally
  • willingness to invest time and dollars
  • willingness to calculate investment ROI

Educator Plan:

  • how to approach an employer
  • how to navigate compliance regulations
  • willingness to consider federal and state funding options


Networking   4:30 – 5:30

View videos of the day’s segments.

View pictures from the event in this YouTube video.



Wells Fargo
US Bank


Rockefeller Foundation