PBSC partners with businesses to solve workforce needs
Palm Beach State College’s Workforce Development Community Impact Partnership held its first Trade and Industry Partnership meeting on March 28 to address the county’s workforce needs.
More than 50 businesses attended the event on the Lake Worth campus and discussed career readiness, career pathways, career success and other important issues. PBSC President Ava L. Parker and Dr. Jean A. Wihbey, vice president of workforce development and the campus provost, welcomed the group and provided remarks. The panelists included Steve Craig, president and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County; Shereena Coleman, vice president of business facilitation and the Glades Region for the Business Development Board; Dennis Grady, CEO of the Chamber of the Commerce of the Palm Beaches; Mary Lou Bedford, CEO of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, and Richard Seymour, CEO of Carpenter Electric.
The group sought input from trade and industry partners to develop solutions for bridging the gap between college curriculum and workforce needs. After canvassing employer needs, participants examined the value of internships and what services PBSC can provide. The take away from the meeting was a commitment to action for partnership involvement and more business engagement to accelerate students into jobs and to create skills/career pathways with their help. The focus for this first meeting was the trade and industry sector, which has immediate employment needs.
The PBSC Community Impact Partnership is the College’s commitment to a more comprehensive effort to address current and future workforce needs. PBSC will continue to invite various business sector leaders to come together with the BDB, government officials, including mayors, CareerSource, community-based organizations and other partners for discussions that lead to action and stakeholder commitment.
“It was very gratifying to see our industry partners come with energy and ideas, eager to collaborate on initiatives that will yield a more qualified workforce,” Wihbey said. “By combining their input and support with the College’s capacity to build programs, we can help more PBSC graduates establish solid careers in Palm Beach County.”
Similar events will be planned to take a closer look at workforce needs for other professions taught at PBSC, including business, information technology, health care, electrical power and engineering technology. Please visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/BPC for more information or call Charmaine Williams at 561-868-3359.