UMKC Hosts ACT National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board Meeting

The National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board supported by ACT held its spring meeting in Kansas City March 29 – 30. On the agenda was the release of a white paper on workforce development, “Understanding and Solving the Skills Gap,” during a panel discussion. University of Missouri-Kansas City Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer, who is also a member of the NWSAB, moderated the panel discussion. ACT helps people achieve education and workplace success and is the leading U.S. college admissions testing company.

“Quality, industry-recognized credentials that document the competencies needed to be successful on the job are the key to creating a common language between industry and education,” said Bichelmeyer. “The intent of this paper is to make the case for leveraging credentials to close the skills gap.”

Panel participants included Bichelmeyer; Zora Mulligan, commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education; Mark James, chancellor of Metropolitan Community Colleges (KCMO); Trinity Davis, Kansas City Missouri Public Schools assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development; Blake Naughton, University of Missouri Associate vice chancellor for Extension and Engagement; Laurel Hogue, University of Central Missouri vice provost for Extended Studies; and Kim McNeley, UMKC associate vice provost for University College and Undergraduate Advising. While in Kansas City, advisory board members and senior leaders from ACT also met with various city leaders to learn more about the philanthropic and economic development organizations and to discuss the state of IT healthcare workforce with Cerner leadership.

Over the two-day meetings, the advisory board discussed a working agenda that will advance the recommendations outlined. The UMKC panel was designed to help the advisory board and ACT hear thoughts and ideas from education administrators that can be woven into their next step plans.

The NWSAB consists of business leaders, economic development, workforce and education leaders whose mission is to mobilize a common vision to link, align and match America’s workforce through improving foundational workplace sills, supporting policies and practices that ensure skills training is valuable to employers and employees and helping individuals attain quality credentials.

As part of its advising role to ACT, the advisory board seeks to meet with various business and industry leaders to better understand current workforce development challenges, identify best practice solutions and learn about unique successful community approaches that can inform members in their work.

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