Pathways to Middle-Skill STEM Occupations and Beyond: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenters: Janice Earle, Dale Allen, Deborah Boisvert, Kimberly Green, Mary Wright
Panelists representing diverse perspectives and experiences will set the stage for the day's conversations by reflecting on critical issues, challenges, and opportunities related to developing alternative and seamless pathways to middle-skill careers. They will discuss approaches for aligning education with the workplace, and offer insights on improving connections between policy and practice. In addition, they will present the landscape at national, state, and school/college levels, suggesting implications for leveraging resources, and addressing scale-up and sustainability.

Janice Earle, Program Director, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation
Janice Earle currently serves as a senior program director for K–12 STEM education in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) at the NSF. As such, she is responsible for NSF-wide activity on K–12 STEM education. She has been at the NSF since 1991 and has worked with several of the NSF’s education programs. Previously, Earle served as the cluster lead for the Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) and CAREER programs housed in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings and as coordinator for EHR evaluation activities. Earle works with several of the agency’s policy-oriented efforts such as those with the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, and the U.S. Department of Education. Earle received a BA in History from the University of Michigan, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Education Policy and Planning from the University of Maryland.

Dale Allen, Vice President for Community Engagement, Quinsigamond Community College
Dale Allen has served at Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) as vice president for community engagement since 2008. He oversees the QCC Foundation, resource development, alumni programs, site exploration, and strategic partnerships at the college. He also leads the college’s focus on strategic partnerships that enhance the mission of Quinsigamond and address higher education and workforce development needs throughout Worcester County through partnerships that maximize leveraged resources of public and private entities. Allen facilitated the development of the Massachusetts Community Colleges Workforce Development Transformation Agenda (MCCWDTA) and serves as its project director. MCCWDTA is designed to fundamentally change the way that community colleges in Massachusetts interact with each other and with the workforce development system, public agencies, leading industry groups, leaders of government, and private businesses to transform the delivery of education and training programs for unemployed and underemployed individuals. In addition, Allen serves as a special assistant to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. His efforts are focused on leading the strategy and development for policy work related to workforce development and pathways at two- and four-year institutions. Having worked in higher education for over 20 years, Allen specializes in advancing connections between colleges and the various communities with which they interact—schools, other colleges, nonprofits, businesses, elected officials, and neighborhoods. Allen earned his PhD in Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received a certificate of advanced study in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education, an MEd in Athletic Administration, and a BS in Sports Biology from Springfield College.

Deborah Boisvert, Executive Director, Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Deborah Boisvert is the principal investigator and executive director of Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technical Education National Center of Excellence that is building computing pathways in the urban centers of Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. She also leads a grant dedicated to computational thinking as well as the Synergy Collaboratory for Research, Practice, and Transformation project, which has focused on achieving scale, also headquartered at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. With experience in both the corporate and educational arenas, Boisvert has focused her efforts in the development and implementation of initiatives to advance the educational and professional objectives of area high school, community college, and university students and faculty. She was a founding partner in Camp Telecom, a summer camp for high school students and teachers sponsored by Massachusetts Network Communications Council. In 2006, she was honored as their Workforce Development Leader of the Year. Boisvert wrote the curriculum for the Technology Goes Home@School initiative, which bridges the digital divide by equipping fourth graders’ families in the Boston Public Schools with beginning technology skills and a new computer for their homes. She founded the Bridge to Community College Program, a partnership with local community-based organizations, which provides adult learners with credit-bearing technology courses combined with English and mathematics tutoring to prepare them for matriculation into a technology degree program. Boisvert serves on the Massachusetts K–12 Technology Standards Revision Team; the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Transfer Task Force; the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board’s Career Pathways Working Group; the Massachusetts Computing Advocacy Network; the National Advisory Board of Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science (IWITTS); and the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group for Information Technology Education (ACM SIGITE) Education Board.

Kimberly Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
For the past 21 years, Kimberly Green has worked extensively on federal policy impacting Career Technical Education (CTE). Working closely with Congress, the Administration, and a broad range of stakeholders, she represents the interests of and seeks support for CTE. In addition to this policy work, Green helped establish, implement, and grow the national Career Cluster® Initiative, the Common Career Technical Core, the CTE: Learning that Works for America Campaign, and the Career Readiness Partner Council—all of which are designed to build visibility and support for CTE, while also raising the bar for CTE by ensuring consistency in the delivery of high-quality programs to students across the country. Green represents the state directors on a variety of boards and committees including the Manufacturing Skills Standards Leadership Council, the National Technical Honor Society, and the Executive Committee of the National Career Academy Coalition. She is also collaborating with the new National College and Career Readiness Center and the Great Teachers and Leaders Center, and is partnering with multiple federally funded projects to expand the implementation of career pathways. She is an accomplished speaker, having presented in all 50 states, and is considered a nationally recognized expert in CTE. Green is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Mary Wright, Program Director, Jobs for the Future
Mary Wright directs Jobs for the Future (JFF) initiatives that help low-skilled adults move into and through post-secondary education and on to careers that pay family-sustaining wages. One such initiative is Credentials That Work, which seeks to utilize innovations in the collection and use of real-time labor market information to better align investments in education and training with the needs of the economy. Wright has more than 20 years of experience in municipal finance, government affairs, and workforce development. Before joining JFF, she served as director at The Conference Board (TCB) in New York City, driving its work in workforce readiness, business, and education partnerships, as well as improving the employment outcomes for people with disabilities through research and convenings. During her tenure at TCB, she also served on the boards of three Boston-area nonprofits that support educational opportunities for underrepresented youth, housing options for low-income families, and the arts. Wright has an MBA in Public/Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs from Connecticut College.