Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College are pleased to announce the officers for its Public Sector Executive Employer Advisory Council of The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program. The Council held its inaugural meeting on Thursday, January 25. The vision of the Carolina Cluster is to develop a model Career Pathway Initiative that transforms approaches to student achievement and success, by producing prepared and career-ready HBCU graduates that are coveted by employers and graduate programs, in order to improve our students' generational socio-economic status. The advisory council will work to promote collaboration between the three Carolina Cluster member institutions and senior-level business and industry leaders of national, regional and local employers.
The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program was created in December 2016 through a $6 million grant by the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. The priorities of the grant are to improve employment outcomes for graduates through guided pathways, curricular enhancements, and integrated co-curricular engagement.
The Public Sector Executive Employer Advisory Council consists of 20 members who are leaders in local government and state agencies. The Executive Advisory Council will provide Carolina Cluster member institutions with insights into workforce needs. This workforce information will be utilized to direct future curricular decisions, with the goal to improve the professional readiness of Cluster Members' students necessary to meet employers' workforce needs.
During the meeting, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University; Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of Benedict College; and Dr. W. Franklin Evans, president of Voorhees College welcomed the attendees and thanked them for their interest and support of the Career Pathways Program. Each president also had an opportunity to share how the Career Pathways Program will impact students and prepare them for the 21st Century workforce.
"The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program is our collaborative response to America's need for talent and our graduates desire to be competitive in obtaining high-paying 21st Century jobs," said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University. "Through the work of the program, we will leverage the capacity of our partner institutions and implement innovative strategies designed to nurture the talent of the students on our campuses as well as recent graduates and help make the story of the workforce of the 21st Century one of increased diversity and inclusion."
Additional presentations were given by Dr. Karl S. Wright, provost and chief academic officer of Claflin University; Attorney Cathy Scarborough Franklin, executive director of The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program, and Ms. Valeria Green, director of experiential learning for The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program, who outlined the evolution and purpose of the grant from UNCF, the formation and terms of the advisory officers, and the need for experiential learning. During the meeting's dialog, many of the employers expressed their appreciation for the creation of this program and their desire to partner with the universities to fill positions with recent graduates.
"The goals of the Career Pathways Program are consistent with our mission of preparing graduates for the 21st Century workforce and are directly embedded in our long range plan and strategic goals of academic excellence and experiential learning," said Dr. Tisdale during the discussion. We will continue to develop programs that will meet the needs of the students and employers."
Attendees of the council meeting included members from the following agencies: County of Bamberg, City of Charleston, City of Columbia, City of Greenville Police Department, County of Orangeburg, Richland County Administration, Richland County Transportation, South Carolina Attorney General's Office, South Carolina Department of Administration, South Carolina Department of Commerce, South Carolina Department of Corrections, South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon, South Carolina Department of Transportation, South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, Savannah River Remediation, and the United States Secret Service.
The next meeting for the advisory council will be held in August 2018.