UNC System Office – Employer Engagement Roundtable

The EDR hosted an Employer Engagement Roundtable featuring Dr. Thomas A. Walker, Kathie Sidner, and Bradley Wrenn with the UNC System Office. Dr. Walker, the Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Military Affairs for the University of North Carolina System, led the discussion with local industry leaders, GTP management, and the EDR staff.  

Kathie Sidner, Director of Defense and Military Partnerships, and Bradley Wrenn, Program Manager for Military and Veterans Education, focused their questions on employer and university engagement across the system and how to: 

  • Increase opportunities for interaction and information-sharing between universities and employers to inform practices on both ends of the continuum. 
  • Creating more robust talent pipelines to aid in recruiting and hiring graduates from UNC universities. 
  • Partner with employers to develop and offer academic programming that addresses gaps in skills and competencies and fits the needs of today’s workers. 
  • Leverage universities as partners in research and development. 
  • Create critical players in economic development through partnerships. 
  • Cultural alignment between employers and UNC System. 
  • Developing lifelong learning opportunities. 

The outline of this initiative is for a team of UNC System Office staff, led by Dr. Walker, to visit select employers/employment sectors and engage in semi-structured interviews with representatives from firms in critical workforce areas, allowing for flexibility to encourage the free exchange of ideas. Sectors that will be investigated will include, but are not limited to: 

  • Life sciences 
  • Energy  
  • Autonomous Systems 
  • Data and Knowledge Management 
  • Transportation 

Through these efforts, a greater level of engagement between employers and universities is forecasted to help create a greater pipeline for skilled employees. 

For more info visit: https://www.northcarolina.edu