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March 21, 2018

WGU Washington Hosts Panel Discussion on Innovation in Education at 2018 Workforce Summit

KENT — WGU Washington’s Senior Public Relations Manager Jake Riddell lead a panel discussion at the 2018 Workforce Summit today in Bellevue, Washington. The subject was “Innovation in Education” and, among other topics, explored new methods of addressing the skills gap in the state’s workforce.

“Helping strengthen the workforce in this state is a huge part of WGU Washington’s mission,” said Riddell. “For that reason, it was an honor to share the stage and hear from other educational leaders and learn what’s being done to keep Washington strong.”

On the panel were Dr. Jenny Rodriquez, the principal of The Delta High School in the Tri-Cities, Therese Tipton the principal at Raisbeck Aviation High School in Seattle, and Camille Nielsen, the principal of the STEM Academy at Spokane Valley Tech.

.“Educational institutions like the STEM Academy thrive because of the support of the business community,” said Nielsen. “We’re aiming to create real-world applications for students and provide them pathways to successful careers in in-demand fields. To share more about the work we’re doing and connect with leaders from across the state at this event is a fantastic opportunity — and will help us make a greater impact on the workforce.”

The 2018 Workforce Summit was put on by the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and held at the Hilton Bellevue. The event’s purpose was to share with participants — business owners, human resources professionals, and influencers — best practices to prepare the state’s next generation of workers. For more information, visit the event’s webpage. This is the second year in a row WGU Washington was asked to lead a panel discussion.

To help address the statewide skills gap, lawmakers in Olympia created WGU Washington in 2011 to expand access to first-rate bachelors and master’s degree programs for — primarily — busy, midcareer adults. As the state’s only legislatively-endorsed, online university, WGU Washington utilizes the most advanced, distance-learning technology to educate skilled professionals in high-demand fields.

Sharing that story is an important part of Riddell’s role as a communications professional at the private, nonprofit institution. Prior to taking leadership of the university’s public relations and marketing efforts, he spent nearly ten years as a broadcast journalist. Riddell is a member of the AWB’s Leadership Washington Class of 2017.

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Leslie Reed, Director, External Communications
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