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Roundtable Discussion with Secretary Pritzker


CUCWD Leads SC Workforce Development Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Secretary of Commerce

On Friday, March 28, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited South Carolina to tour the Clemson University-International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and then take part in a roundtable discussion with education and business leaders at the CU-ICAR TD Gallery, hosted by the Clemson University Center for Workforce Development (CUCWD).

Pritzker_CUICAR-325-3147338891-OThe roundtable discussion included topics on how to develop a well-qualified workforce, how workforce development systems and employers ensure training leads to an in-demand job, continuation of training alignment with the region’s economic growth and the importance of apprenticeships.  Secretary Pritzker’s visit put a spotlight on the public-private partnerships that are helping create the next generation of engineers, scientists and technicians that America needs to remain competitive.

As a land-grant university, Clemson has been helping grow business for decades. It started with farms, but now Clemson applies the same model for growing business to automotive engineering, advanced materials, bioengineering, health, energy, genetics and the environment. One of the keys to Clemson’s success in this area is through the workforce development initiatives of CUCWD and the Center for Aviation and Automotive Technology Education using Virtual E-Schools (CA2VES), which is an Advanced Technological Education Center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Pritzker_CUICAR-353-3147339243-O“A big part of what we do at CUCWD is bringing people together. We break down the silos that have traditionally separated the P-12 system, industry and higher education,” said Kris Frady, Director of Operations for CUCWD. Integrating these key pieces helps put resources into the hands of the teachers that need them, thereby creating a highly qualified workforce. These resources can range from engineering and science projects for elementary schools to advanced manufacturing curriculum for technical colleges.

Secretary Pritzker recently said on CNBC,

“I was in South Carolina this week…at a plant that’s working with Clemson University, the local technical colleges and the local businesses to help workers get the skills they need. And what you see is that kind of effort is extremely useful and valued not just by the worker but also by the businesses.”

Clemson University greatly appreciates Secretary Pritzker taking time to see what South Carolina has been doing to support workforce development and thanks the U.S. Department of Commerce for its support. Our success is the nation’s success.

The workforce development roundtable discussion moderated by Secretary Pritzker included the following participants:

  • Dr. Dave Andrews, Chief Learning Officer for Michelin North America
  • Dr. John Ballato, Vice President for Economic Development, Clemson University
  • Robbie Barnett, Associate VP of Workforce, Education, and Manufacturing Policy, South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. James P. Clements, President, Clemson University
  • Elaine Craft, Director, South Carolina Advanced Technological Center of Excellence
  • Dr. Ben P. Dillard, III, President, Florence-Darlington Technical College
  • Bryan Dods, Executive Manufacturing Technology Leader, GE Power & Water
  • Werner Eikenbusch, Head of Talent Management, Americas Region, BMW Corporate Human Resources
  • Matt Erskine, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Economic Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Dr. Kris Frady, Director of Operations, Clemson University Center for Workforce Development
  • Kate McAdams, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Dr. Keith Miller, President, Greenville Technical College
  • Dr. Tom Peters, Executive Director, South arolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science
  • Susan Pretulak, Vice President of Economic Development and Workforce Competitiveness, ReadySC/Apprenticeship Carolina
  • Chuck Spangler, Chief Operating Officer, South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Grace Waddell, Dean of Agape University, Agape Senior
  • Dr. James “Jimmie” Williamson, President, South Carolina Technical College System

*Images in order of appearance:

  1. Secretary Pritzker (left) and Dr. John Ballato (right)
  2. Secretary Pritzker addressing roundtable participants
  3. Participants at the roundtable discussion


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