Workforce Development Leaders to Present at ACT’s National Workforce Development Conference

Posted March 23, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa—National workforce leaders will give keynote addresses at the Workforce 2011: ACT’s National Workforce Development Conference, April 18-21 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago. This will be the 14th annual gathering of educators, employers, economic developers and state officials assembled by ACT for the purpose of learning, discussing and sharing best practices and ideas for developing America’s workforce.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking the Talent Code.” Conference sessions are designed to provide ideas that can help advance the American workforce. “By helping individuals identify their unique set of talents and guiding them along a career pathway, we can help them advance their lives. We can also upgrade our workforce, and in turn, improve the American economy,” said Jon Whitmore, ACT CEO.

This year’s program will include two keynote panels and a keynote dinner presentation.

The kickoff panel on April 19 is designed to help attendees navigate the education and workforce funding maze. Presenters include:

  • Parminder K. Jassal, PhD, Special Initiatives Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Holly Zanville, PhD, Program Director for the Lumina Foundation for Education
  • Byron Zuidema, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

An industry panel on April 20 will describe four organizations and how they are utilizing career pathways and industry credentials to help ensure a reliable supply of qualified workers. Presenters include:

  • Jennifer McNelly, Senior Vice President of the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • Steve Greene, Vice President of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • Ann Randazzo, Executive Director, Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD)
  • Sharon Rice, Executive Vice President of Professional Development & Industry Content, The Association for Operations Management (APICS)

A keynote dinner presentation on April 20 will feature Daniel Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Talent Code.” Coyle visited nine of the world’s greatest talent hotbeds and found a common pattern—certain methods of training, motivating and coaching. This pattern, including the fundamental mechanisms through which the brain acquires skill, gives us a new way to think about talent, as well as new tools to unlock the talents of individuals, especially students and employees.

This annual ACT conference attracts professionals in human resources, staff selection, employee development, secondary and postsecondary education, government and related fields. The focus includes use of certificate programs, the ACT Work Readiness System, and the National Career Readiness Certificate in hiring and training practices, lowering employee turnover, improving productivity and preparing individuals for the workforce.

“Participants at the conference have the opportunity to hear from national thought leaders in business, education, and in workforce and economic development,” said Martin Scaglione, ACT Workforce Development Division President and COO. “We will discuss critical workforce issues and share ideas the attendees can put into action. ACT is proud to present these keynote speakers as well as a full agenda of outstanding sessions planned for this year’s conference.”

The conference may be beneficial for:

  • Employers interested in learning how ACT’s workforce solutions are being implemented by businesses today
  • Local and state government officials involved with workforce development programs
  • Educators wanting to understand how ACT’s workforce solutions are used with students and implemented in a secondary or postsecondary environment
  • All individuals who may not be familiar with ACT’s workforce solutions or need a refresher