“We have to find a way to attract more workers to the state. We have to make sure that people who are getting their education here are staying here,” says Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner of Economic Leadership LLC, a consultancy that is currently working in more than a dozen states, including Wisconsin, to develop effective economic and workforce strategies.
Abernathy is slated to be the kick off presenter at the 2nd Annual Workforce Solutions Summit, Wednesday, November 13, at the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, presented by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Momentum West, and other regional partners.
Earlier this year, Abernathy and his firm produced a report for the WMC Foundation's Future Wisconsin Project, titled the Wisconsin Workforce Competitiveness Evaluation, that blended statistical data and long-form interviews with the state’s business leaders to determine specific challenges and how to address them. The report recommended six areas of focus: Attract and Retain Talent; Upskill Existing Workers; Improve Career Pathways; Promote Apprenticeships, Youth Apprenticeships, Internships and Other Work-Based Learning for Students; Promote Career Awareness; and Reach Disconnected Groups.
Adjusting to a changing society
Abernathy's analysis does more that diagnose short term problems, however, and also addresses major societal shifts like automation, the rapidly increasing pace of change, emergence of the "gig economy," the future of education, and more. At the Summit, he'll set the stage for employers to be competitive in this challenging environment.
Right: Abernathy presenting the findings of the Wisconsin Workforce Competitiveness report
Ted Abernathy has 38 years of experience in directing local and regional economic development and workforce development programs and later as CEO of a leading economic policy thinktank.
Economic Leadership LLC, based in Raleigh North Carolina, is a small group of data and policy "nerds" that is currently working with a diverse group of public and private clients to develop state and local strategic action agendas, identify best practices, apply data analytics, and re-imagine the future. Over the past six years Ted and the team has worked on close to 100 projects including designing an innovation ecosystem for a new science city in Kenya, producing an annual Home of Future Thinking conference, and creating a new company that assesses and improves group leadership. Ted is the principle author of the dozens of reports on future trends, workforce, and technology and speaks on the economy almost every week.
Additional valuable Summit keynoters
Also providing key insights at the Summit will be Jim Morgan of MRA, “The New Realities of Attraction and Retention,” Wes Escondo, Big Brothers Big Sisters, "Employee Retention: Work, Play and Stay in the Chippewa Valley" and Drew Conrad, The Institute for Decision Making, "Bringing it home - specific strategies for our region and state." The event will feature break out sessions on implementing specific talent strategies.
Click here for full details on the Nov 13 Workforce Solutions Summit, including registration information.
Event sponsors include the Marshfield Clinic, Momentum West, MRA, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, Prevea, Royal Credit Union, Xcel Enegy, and the Chamber's Employers Workforce Initiative.
Wisconsin Workforce Competitiveness Evaluation (Full Report: WMC Foundation)
Ted Abernathy Presentation: Future Wisconsin Summit (Video: 46:38)
Program and registration information: Nov 13 Workforce Solutions Summit
Posted by Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director