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BGCDT was excited to co-host with the Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) our Workforce Readiness Summit on Innovative Strategies to Create a People Industrial Base at OTTO Engineering, Inc. last Thursday. The gathering included 45 professionals from our community, state and nation, including the Village of Carpentersville, Community Unit School District 300, Barrington 220 School District, Elgin Community College, Harper College, University of Virginia, Pathwise Skills, STEMconnector, Senator Richard J Durbin‘s Office, AmeriCorps, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the United States Department of Defense, along with twenty advanced manufacturing companies to discuss collaborative community-level solutions for the nation’s needs for effective pathways into the Technical STEM Workforce.

After a tour of Otto’s 100,000sf apprentice training facility, interview with CEO Tom Roeser and a presentation on the importance of mindsets by Pathwise Skills CEO Michael LoPresti, we were honored to introduce our visionary keynote speaker, Brynt Parmeter, the Pentagon’s first-ever Chief Talent Management Officer. Brynt began by sharing his perspective from his work in the private sector, having developed the first-ever Department of Labor apprenticeship program in the 62-year history of Walmart, commending OTTO Engineering, Inc. and the Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) on their efforts to create the innovative Carpentersville training center. Brynt is responsible for recruitment strategies for 1 million employees that make of the DOD’s civilian workforce, and 2 million uniformed service members in our military. He shared his objective to bring a comprehensive and cohesive approach across the many sectors that constitute the talent pipeline in a more effective way that helps align to and support our national defense and security strategies. This includes the defense industrial base, which are the small, medium and large companies in the supply chain creating everything needed, from radios and switches to battle armor and aircraft carriers. Brynt’s call to action to us is clear – we need to work together to develop people with the capacity to make the things we need. Our nation’s security depends upon it.

The convening’s purpose is to provide guidance to BGCDT for the development of our new 45,000 sf Woodlands Impact Center, which will focus on community collaborative life and workforce readiness programs for Carpentersville youth and help inform the Boys & Girls Clubs of America on successful community-based strategies for over 3 million youth members served nationally.

We then held break-out roundtable sessions to provide insights and feedback on the role out-of-school time programs, community stakeholders and businesses can play to help support our current education system. So grateful for Brynt and everyone who took time to join and contribute to our discussion on this important work.

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