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

Posted March 07, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa—National workforce leaders will give keynote addresses at the Workforce 2012: ACT’s National Workforce Development Conference, April 10-13 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago. This will be the 15th 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 Tomorrow’s Workforce Starts Here. Conference sessions are designed to provide solutions that will advance the skills of America’s workforce.

This year’s program will include nearly 40 concurrent sessions as well as keynote addresses by:

  • Jim Clifton, Gallup chairman and author of The Coming Jobs War
  • The Honorable Sonny Perdue, governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011
  • William Symonds, director of the Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of  Education

Clifton will be the dinner keynote speaker on Thursday, April 12. Grounded in findings from Gallup’s World Poll, Clifton will expand on the bold assertion in his new book that job creation and successful entrepreneurship are the world’s most pressing issues. Since 1988, Clifton has served as CEO of Gallup, a leader in organizational consulting and public opinion research.

Perdue will be the luncheon keynote speaker on April 12. In January, Perdue was named the inaugural chairman of the National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board. The board is charged with leading a national effort to build a common framework for workforce development that links education and workforce development, aligns workforce development with industry needs, and matches individual skills with employer requirements. While governor, Perdue earned accolades from the public and private sectors for his aggressive pursuit of governmental efficiency. His eight-year term produced dramatic results in creating a safer, growing, more educated Georgia.

Symonds will address attendees at a plenary session on Friday, April 13. The Pathways to Prosperity Project now directed by Symonds was created in 2008 to find promising solutions to our national failure to prepare many young adults for success. In 2011, Pathways released a landmark report covering research and recommendations preparing young people for the working world.

The 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 workforce and economic development,” said Martin Scaglione, ACT Workforce Development Division president. “We will share solutions that attendees can put into action to address the needs of America’s workforce. 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

To register for Workforce 2012 or for more information about the conference, including the full agenda, go to