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2018 Conference
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Smooth Sailing ~ Success Through Partnerships

September 26-27, 2018
Clearwater Hilton Hotel - Clearwater Beach, FL


♦ Registration is Closed

♦ Keynote Speakers and Panelists

♦ Conference Program - PDF File

♦ 2018 Conference Sponsors

♦ Conference Hotel and Transportation

♦ Conference Strands

♦ 2018 Exemplary Program Award Recipients

♦ Schedule at a Glance


The Programs Committee knows that not every proposal will fit nicely into one of the strands. Proposals that focus on employer engagement, partnerships, program development, integrated basic skills, and the impact of state and federal policy and legislation are always welcome as they are important for the conference.

All Hands On Deck: Partnerships That Improve Program Design
Forming successful and sustainable partnerships is necessary to ensure that local, state and national employment needs are met. But this does not come easily. Working with public and/or private entities requires significant collaboration regardless of the complexity of the partnership. Key to success is strong engagement with employers who are willing to fully partner, long-term, in the development of initiatives that will help them meet their employment needs. College leaders need to find and nurture prospective partners and guide them through the process of partnership creation. Successful partnerships then become valuable models for employers who are struggling to find qualified skilled workers. Sessions in this strand will provide challenges that are faced and strategies that have worked.


Harnessing the Power of a Diverse Crew: Why Diversity and Equity Matter
Ensuring that our education and workforce development systems support the economic success of those with the highest barriers to opportunity is critical to securing a prosperous future for our communities and our country. At the same time, studies have shown that a more diverse workforce can foster enhanced innovation, creativity, and problem solving. There are many dimensions of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual identity, veteran status, immigrant status, skill and educational attainment levels, socioeconomic status, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated status, and other expressions of identity. Sessions in this strand will focus on how educators, employers, and policymakers develop programs and partnerships that engage traditionally underserved groups, close wage and skills gaps, and leverage the strengths of such traditionally underserved groups including veterans, immigrants, older workers, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations, and people with disabilities.

Turning the Tide: The Future of Work and “New Collar Jobs”
Goodbye to outdated white-collar and blue-collar jobs and Hello to “New Collar” jobs. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty coined this phrase in 2017 to describe high-skills careers that don’t require a traditional 4-year degree, but do require a lot of technical skill. National studies show that to close the skills gap we need to place more emphasis on fast-track careers which require innovative program design developed through partnerships with employers. These new-collar careers offer students a world of unlimited opportunity in occupations that have been disrupted by technology. Workshops in this strand focus on emerging strategies and concepts that provide smooth transition from old to innovative technologies, employer certification demand, and skills gap solutions that prepare learners for “new-collar jobs” now and into the future.

Seeking the Perfect Wave for Job Success: When Training is Not Enough
Workforce professionals must be ready to develop training programs and services that go beyond simply developing routine skills associated with the tasks required for a certain job. They must now be prepared to understand how rapid changes in technology have an impact on the training programs that they develop. Thomas Friedman argues that we have entered an “age of acceleration” where the speed and spread of automation and globalization now greatly outpace our individual and public capacities to adapt to them. According to many workforce analysts, the skills in which students should invest (often referred to as “21st Century skills”) include technical literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving, adaptability to new work environments, social/communication skills, and a commitment to life-long learning. Sessions in this strand will highlight success with new strategies in developing training that takes a more comprehensive approach to addressing disruptive forces that compel us all to be more creative.

Navigating the Complexity of Work-Based Learning
Work-based learning is an educational strategy that provides students with real-life work experiences where they can apply academic and technical skills and develop their employability. Targeted to bridge the gap between the learning and the doing, work-based learning programs provide authentic learning experiences to students that link academic, technical and professional skills, provide career awareness, career exploration opportunities, career planning activities, and help students attain competencies such as positive work attitudes and other employable skills. Community Colleges across the nation are incorporating this strategy to enhance student success and completion, and better provide students the skill sets employers require. Sessions in this strand will illustrate how innovative colleges have navigated the complexity of work-based learning that incorporates several strategies that include employer partnerships and internships, apprenticeships, high school intermediary networks, pre-apprenticeship, and dual credit. 


Career Opportunities
Colleges may post open positions on the NCWE website. To post a job or look for a new career opportunity, click on the icon below.

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