November 3, 2017 Global Summit explores workforce development

2017 Global Summit - Hooper

Members of the business community, higher education and industry leaders gathered at Fisher College of Business to discuss the development of a skilled and globally aware workforce.

The 2017 Global Summit brought together professionals from across the business and hiring spectrums to explore the challenges, programs and solutions that are helping companies recruit and retain talented, productive workers.

Presented by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Fisher, Columbus 2020 and the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Columbus State Community College, the event drew experts from across the country to share workforce insights and leading research.

Stephen Hooper, director of manufacturing strategy at Autodesk, delivered a keynote on the future of manufacturing, and the critical role that developing an equipped and agile workforce will have. Drawing on examples from Autodesk clients, Hooper shared his thoughts on competitive differentiators, the change from supply chains to supply networks, and viewing products as fixed items rather than products as services.

An example of a company and a workforce embracing products as a service is Tesla, where its updates to its fleet of electric vehicles can be done seamlessly, negating the need for costly recalls.

2017 Global Summit

A pair of panel discussions explored discovering and developing talent for growth, as well as resources available to companies and organizations in central Ohio.

Three company leaders — Leah Simoes, of Davenport Aviation; Bill Hutter, of Sequent; and DeeAnne Marlow, of Greif — provided experiences and insights into their workforce development strategies as small-, mid- and large-market companies. The idea that employment is about much more than a paycheck was central to each organization.

“It’s not just about a job anymore,” Hutter said. “Employers need to have a clear understanding of what it is that sets them apart from others. They need to know how to express their company’s unique culture.”

While cultural fit and job satisfaction are commonly linked to millennials, Hutter said he’s noticed it on a larger scale.

“Employee experience is a multigenerational concern,” he said.

The resource panel featured Jeff Spain, of the Office of Workforce Development at Columbus State; Ryan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation; Jim Foley, of the Foster College of Business at Bradley University; and was moderated by Jeff Rice, executive director of Fisher’s Office of Career Management.

Burgess talked of hearing employers’ frustrations with workers’ lack of soft skills — being on time, putting cell phones away and passing drug tests.

Spain echoed: “They’re hiring for the technical skills and firing for the soft skills.”

The event culminated with a discussion featuring Marek Gootman, a fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at the Brookings Institution.

Together with Tom Stewart, executive director of the NCMM, the two discussed a research report compiled by both organizations that explored talent development among middle market companies.

Read the NCMM/Brookings Institution research

“The discussion about the ever-changing face and competencies of today’s workforce is an important one to have,” Stewart said. “Events like these and our ongoing commitment to providing insights and research for our community, our region and our country will help our partners remain at the forefront of workforce development.”