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Memphis Leaders Commit to Creating a Quality Workforce

Recently, area leaders announced the launch of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW) as the lead initiative of the Memphis & Shelby County Regional Economic Development Plan. The GMACW is a culmination of the combined efforts of the Chairman’s Circle moon mission for a Center of Excellence for Training in Advanced Manufacturing (Harvard Tech) and the Brookings Institute Regional Economic Development Plan (REDP) led by the City, County and EDGE.

The alliance addresses specific strategies for aligning businesses with training programs and job-seekers with real-world skill requirements. The main function will be to catalyze a pipeline of skilled workers by better aligning K-12 and postsecondary programs with employer needs and with each other. 

One of the Chairman’s Circle’s guiding principles is to collaborate with regional partners involved in their areas of interest. The Harvard Tech committee, co-chaired by Willie Gregory of Nike and Deborah McKitten of Dupont, recognized the initiatives underway and provided the consultant, Dr. Sunny Morris, to work with the Brookings REDP effort. The outcome is an historic collaboration between local governments, the Greater Memphis Chamber, private businesses, economic development entities and regional educational institutions. 

Dr. Glen Fenter, a highly accomplished and nationally-recognized advocate for aligning education with jobs, has accepted the position of CEO of the GMACW as he transitions from his role as President of Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Arkansas. 
This initiative will focus on four major functions:
  • Generate best in class workforce trends data by documenting, analyzing and publishing regular data on local hiring trends, employer skill requirements and labor supply.
  • Strengthen education alignment to promote a pipeline of skilled workers for the future by documenting employment career pathways and then engaging K-12 and postsecondary institutions in aligning their programs to those pathways.
  • Create enthusiasm for local career opportunities and provide a digital roadmap for accessing them.
  • Address employers’ short-term hiring needs by connecting employers in target sectors to high quality workforce solutions to address immediate hiring and training needs. 
With all this in place, the Harvard Tech team intends to accomplish its objective of providing 1,000 qualified workers in manufacturing and 2,000 in transportation/logistics each year for the foreseeable future. 
Posted: 12/15/2014 9:44:15 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Chairman's, Circle, GMACW, Greater, Harvard, Memphis, mission, moon, Tech, workforce

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