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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Governor's Education and Talent Summit focusing on helping educators, job providers collaborate on building a talented workforce

Keynote speakers include leaders from Cisco, PricewaterhouseCoopers

TED MEDIA CONTACT: DAVE MURRAY
517-243-7530 | MURRAYD5@MICHIGAN.GOV

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Job-providers and educators need to work more closely to develop a workforce ready for 21st Century careers and lifelong learning – partnerships that will take center stage at the Governor’s Education and Talent Summit next month.

Keynote speakers include Alison Gleeson, senior vice president of the Americas for Cisco; Mark Mendola, vice chairman and U.S. managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers; and George Couros, an educator with expertise in innovative leadership, teaching, and learning.

“It’s important for Michigan employers and educators to hear from top experts how they can partner to collaborate and develop talent,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “I’m excited to hear from people who have developed best practices in their classrooms and businesses. This summit is an opportunity to start relationships and explore opportunities to make Michigan talent stronger.”

The Governor’s Talent and Education Summit is planned for March 12 and 13 at the Suburban Collection Showcase, 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi. 

Gleeson, a Michigan native, oversees the largest of Cisco's four geographic regions, responsible for more than $25 billion in annual sales for the company. In her role, Gleeson leads nearly 9,000 employees across 35 countries. She is often called on to speak about the drivers for digital disruption across industries, the role of technology in competition, and empowering women in technology.

In 2017, Gleeson received the Michigan Council for Women in Technology’s “Woman of the Year Award” for her work in advancing women in IT roles. Today, she holds the positions of global executive sponsor and board president for Cisco's Connected Women's Network, an organization with 7,000 members worldwide.

Mendola, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, is responsible for the U.S. advisory, assurance, and tax practices. He previously was responsible for the network of tax practices across the Americas, including Canada, Mexico, and South America. He also served as the market managing partner of the Greater Michigan market, responsible for the Detroit, Toledo and Grand Rapids offices.

Canadian educator George Couros has worked with all levels in schools, from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school and district administrator. He is the author of “The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity.” He also is the creator of Connected Principals.com, an effort that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students. 

Retaining, growing and attracting talent is vitally important for Michigan’s economic momentum to continue into the future. Summit sessions are focused on efforts to help both educators and employers collaborate by highlighting recommendations and initiatives in Gov. Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent and the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance.

Summit sessions include opportunities to hear about linking high school career-tech classes to the workplace, attracting instructors for career-tech classes, exploring careers through web-based tools, and integrating Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements in career-tech classes.

Others are focused on educator evaluation systems, creating an exceptional customer experience, and improving an organization’s culture.

The summit also is the first in Michigan to collaborate with Powered by Teach to Lead, which connects teachers with strategic partners to develop plans to solve problems and network with stakeholders from across the state.