Moving Forward to Grow Talent in Technology

Here’s the latest on our K-Career Technology Pipeline. This past October, we even took it up another notch and put everyone in the room together to hash out our local talent development issues in emerging industries. By everyone, I mean the Kentucky Department of Education was talking to industry leaders, secondary and higher education professionals and leaders, and economic development leaders. It was an exhausting all day event, but we made headway. We learned that: we must get those closest to our students (teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, family advocates) to become the most informed about the new realities of work and industry. …

The Work Ready Project

They asked for “out of the box,” and so we delivered. After working for over 18 months on this concept from user experiences to analogous research in and out of state, to many, many, many industry conversations, I present our Work ready concept as the Paducah Regional Innovation Hub. The executive summary sums it up nicely or you can just watch the slide presentation below it. The University of Kentucky Paducah Campus, the Paducah Public Schools, WKCTC, Murray State University, Paducah Economic Development, Computer Services, Inc., the city of Paducah, and an additional and growing number of public/private regional partners …

Growing Talent – The Ongoing End

In a month we will come upon our year anniversary of starting this journey of school reaching out to industry.  It started with the school district connecting with the community. A simple talk at a Chamber of Commerce event set the stage. Listening ears perked up and responded. It’s a dance. The more we collaborate, the more we continue to gain a deeper understanding of each other and that the times they really are a changin’. None of us can continue doing school and business like we have been. Last week I was listening to the president of Murray State University speak about the new …

Growing Talent – Understanding the Student Experience

As an experience designer, research that involves understanding and communicating the student journey is my favorite. In that journey are the key motivators and insights into student behavior. Surprisingly many tend to skip this research phase. I think this happens for a few reasons. One, we think we already know. Why ask when I can just assume? It’s less time consuming and of course, I’m probably  right anyway! If you take this point of view, you will design something for that little world in your head and be left wondering why no one is responding to your great new initiatives. Rule #1: Don’t …

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Growing Talent – The Role of Public Education

Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, identifies key factors for why some organizations achieve greatness and others do not. His third chapter entitled First Who, Then What is about getting the right people in play or as he puts it “on the bus.” This idea is great when you have just one organization to focus on, but what about when you need multiple organizations to come together? Can this Good to Great concept work in something like large scale community development? This is the question I keep asking myself as I am in the middle of a wonderful education/industry …

Columbia, Tennnessee

The Challenge: How might we build the community using a creative economy approach? Just south of Nashville, Tennessee is a hoppin’ historic town with all kinds of potential. It has great historic fabric in the downtown square as well as the most biologically diverse river in North America. Fellow kayak-ers, you know this is a big deal. Another big deal for Columbia is the amazing human capital that resides there. Vision, talent, and a burning desire to make one’s community better is the soil needed for growth and change in small communities. Columbia and Mount Pleasant have this soil in spades. The Solution: Build interest …

Paducah Arts Alliance

The Client: Local Artists and the city of Paducah The Challenge: How might we stimulate creativity for local artists? As part of my work as Artist Relocation Coordinator with the city of Paducah, I was privileged to collaborate with all types of people, many of them artists. Usually the artists were also my neighbors and eventually my friends. We had all moved into the LowerTown neighborhood revitalization project knowing it was risky but also sensing that it could be life changing. We would frequently spend time together at coffee or dinner on someone’s patio discussing the next steps for our community. We were idea people. …

Arts and Culture Plan

The Client: North Dakota Council on the Arts and the city of Wahpeton, North Dakota The Challenge: How might Wahpeton become a model for arts and economic development in North Dakota? With this project we worked with a supportive and innovative state agency and one incredibly energetic and talented community decide to form a partnership. What happens next is the development of a plan to evaluate assets and co-design a process to build upon those. The project involved extensive research with community members, stakeholder groups, and leadership. Much like our experience with the North Dakota Council on the Arts, this town’s ability to bring …