ACT Names Seven New Members to National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board

Posted March 11, 2014

Board Members Will Work to Link, Align and Match America’s Workforce for Economic Growth

IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT today will welcome seven new members and nine continuing members to its National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board, which guides its national ACT Work Ready Communities initiative. The new board members will be announced today at a meeting in Atlanta.

Established in early 2012, the initiative is designed to help economic developers at the state, region and county levels to drive economic growth using information and tools related to workforce skills. Seventeen states are engaged in the initiative.

The advisory board is leading a national effort to build a framework that links education and workforce development, aligns workforce development with industry needs and matches individuals’ skills with employer requirements.

Board members beginning their first term today are:

  • Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, PhD, interim chancellor, Indiana University
  • Jeff Finkle, president and CEO, International Economic Development Council
  • Karla Leach, president, Western Wyoming Community College
  • Dane Linn, vice president, Business Roundtable
  • Jane Oates, vice president for external affairs, Apollo Group Inc. and former U.S. assistant labor secretary
  • Bill Thornton, president and CEO, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
  • David R. Williams, vice president of utility services, Northwest Natural Gas Company

They join the existing board members:

  • Lesa J. Francis, president, CEO and director, Staffmark
  • Michael D. Garrett, retired president and CEO, Georgia Power
  • Jim Gibbons, president and CEO, Goodwill Industries International
  • Ronald L. Johnson, managing director, Tennenbaum Institute of Enterprise Transformation and professor of practice, industrial and systems engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Susan S. Lanigan, retired executive vice president and general counsel, Dollar General
  • Laurie S. Moran, president, Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
  • The Honorable Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia and founding partner, Perdue Partners
  • Hartley Powell, principal, global location and expansion services, KPMG LLP
  • Neal Wade, chairman, Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama and executive director, Bay Economic Development Alliance

Powell of KPMG will assume chairmanship of the National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board today, replacing the Honorable Sonny Perdue, who served as chair since its inception and who continues on the board. Debra Lyons, ACT vice president of community and economic development, serves as executive director for the board.

ACT extends its thanks to Governor Perdue for his leadership, and to the five departing board members:

  • Ronald D. Bullock, chairman, Bison Gear and Engineering Corp.
  • Joe D. May, EdD, president, Louisiana Community and Technical College System
  • Cheryl A. Oldham, vice president, U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation and vice president, Institute for a Competitive Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Thomas J. Snyder, president, Ivy Tech Community College
  • Alex Belous, education portfolio manager, Cisco Foundation National

The National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board’s goal is to build partnerships for community-based workforce development solutions involving:

  • Industry to help identify the foundational skills needed for a productive workforce
  • Individuals who can better understand the skills needed by employers
  • Policymakers interested in consistent measures of skill gaps
  • Educators to have the tools to close skill gaps
  • Economic developers to have an on-demand reporting tool to help market the local workforce to industries looking to expand, locate or relocate businesses.

Site Selection magazine uses data from the ACT Work Ready Communities initiative in reporting on area workforce talent for its “Top Competitive States” feature and its annual “State of the States” analysis.

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