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February 14, 2019

Representatives From Two Tennessee Universities To Serve on American Workforce Policy Advisory Board

WGU president joins tech, workforce development, and education leaders on board

NASHVILLE – Western Governors University (WGU), parent of WGU Tennessee, is one of two universities in the Volunteer State with a seat on the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced yesterday.

WGU President Scott Pulsipher and University of Tennessee Professor Marianne Wanamaker will serve on the Advisory Board, co-chaired by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Adviser to the President Ivanka Trump. The board will collaborate with the National Council for the American Worker to develop strategies that will better align education with 21st century workforce needs. 

“Since launching, WGU has been dedicated to creating a prepared, modern workforce in Tennessee, and our participation on this board is proof not only of our commitment to this mission but our success thus far,” said Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D., WGU Tennessee chancellor. “Being one of two voices representing higher education in Tennessee and across the country, I know Scott will provide valuable experience and perspective as we continue to find ways to prepare more postsecondary higher-education graduates in our state.”

The American Workforce Policy Advisory Board will provide strategic recommendations to the newly formed National Council for the American Worker, an advisory and planning body that will focus on closing the skills gap and retraining American workers to transition to the new jobs of the 21st century. Board terms will last through 2021.

The members of the Board include:

  • Jay Box, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Walter Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
  • Jim Clark, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
  • Tom Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Juanita Duggan, President and CEO, National Federation for Independent Business
  • Elizabeth Goettl, President and CEO, Cristo Rey Network
  • Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President, and CEO, Lockheed Martin
  • Eric Holcomb, Governor, Indiana
  • Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA
  • Al Kelly, CEO, Visa
  • Vi Lyles, Mayor, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP America
  • Sean McGarvey, President, North America’s Building and Trades Unions
  • Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Walmart
  • Craig Menear, Chairman, President, and CEO, Home Depot
  • Michael Piwowar, Executive Director, Milken Institute
  • Scott Pulsipher, President, Western Governors University
  • Kim Reynolds, Governor, Iowa
  • Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM
  • Scott Sanders, Executive Director, National Association of State Workforce Agencies
  • Johnny C. Taylor Jr., President and CEO, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Sheree Utash, President, WSU Tech 
  • Marianne Wanamaker, Professor, University of Tennessee

“WGU’s participation on this board fully supports our mission – to improve the quality and relevancy of education while expanding access,” Pulsipher said. “We know that education is one of the surest pathways to opportunity, enabling individuals to change their lives through better, more fulfilling jobs, and that American industry needs more workers with 21st century skills. The large gap in workforce supply and demand, combined with the rapid evolution of required skills for the future of work, makes a strong case for reinventing education-to-employment pathways. I look forward to working with the members of this Board to build a brighter future for American workers.”

Pulsipher was nominated for the Board by both Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and former Senator Orrin G. Hatch. In nominating Pulsipher, the governor noted the WGU president’s leadership helps WGU maintain its “finger on the pulse of skills gaps at the state level,” while addressing growing educational and workforce concerns across the country. Hatch referred to Pulsipher as a “champion of work-based and demand-driven training programs.”

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