Traverse Connect Skills Gap Study Webinar
Join us for this 1-hour panel discussion surrounding the key findings from the recently conducted skills gap study.
Employers have an overwhelming demand and face vast challenges when attracting and retaining talent. Nearly two-thirds of local companies have unfilled jobs. The vacancies cut across all industries. Current challenges related to the pandemic including health concerns expanded unemployment benefits, and trying to conduct remote training via spotty internet have added to long-standing labor-related issues such as lack of childcare, expensive housing, and infrastructure concerns.
The region may be nearing a crisis point in our ability to hire, train, build critical skills, and develop core competencies in the workforce. Employers and local institutions need to take a dynamic approach toward addressing the lack of skilled talent in our region.
Traverse Connect will provide highlights and next steps and recommendations to organizations in the Grand Traverse region.
President & CEO
Tonya Wildfong is the Communications Director for Team Elmer's, a family owned concrete, asphalt, excavation, crane and rigging company, founded in Traverse City, with fourteen locations serving Northern Michigan. Think infrastructure from the ground - down. Satisfied clients include the U.S. government, State of Michigan, county road commissions in their service area, and tens of thousands of private companies and individuals. With over 25 years at Team Elmer's, her past responsibilities included estimating and project management for residential, commercial, and light road installations. A four time, TC Business News 40 under 40 recipient, Tonya received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she competed as a member of the Women's Track & Field Big Ten Championship team.
Ed Bailey is the director of Operations and Business Development for the Marine Center at Northwestern Michigan College. Northwestern Michigan College provides comprehensive Geospatial Applications training solutions for the marine, surveying, and remote sensing industries. Emphasis is placed on collecting and processing accurate, usable data on the natural and constructed world around us. Expert instructors utilize current industry-standard equipment, including autonomous and remotely operated data collection systems that operate on land, in the air, and in the marine environment.
Ed has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and will complete his Masters in Science in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville in the spring of 2021.
Jason Slade oversees 8 disciplines and 12 specializations as Director of the Technical Academic Areas at Northwestern Michigan College. Prior to this role, he was a faculty member in the engineering technology program teaching courses in electronics and electrical systems. Before coming to NMC, Jason was a program coordinator at Mott Community College and an electrical engineer in the automotive industry. He is passionate about connecting students to high-demand careers in technology.
Patrick Lamb attended Central Michigan University (CMU), earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He returned to Olivet College to receive his Teaching certificate and began teaching at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Patrick then moved to Northport Public School and served as Northport Public School Principal from 2001-2004. During this time, he returned to CMU, receiving his Master of Arts in Educational Administration. In 2004, Patrick became Assistant Principal at Northwest Education Services (formerly TBAISD Career-Tech Center) and was hired as Principal in 2010. In July, 2019, Patrick was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Career & Technical Education and Community Outreach. Advance CTE has awarded two Career-Tech Center programs with the Excellence in Action award (one in 2016 and one in 2018). Under Patrick's leadership, within Traverse City and the surrounding five-county region, Northwest Education Services is widely recognized as a preferred educational setting.
As the Chief Program Officer at Networks Northwest, Terry Vandercook leads all programing and daily operations for a team of over 80 economic and workforce development professionals across the 10 county region of Northwest Michigan. Prior to his current position, Terry gained valuable economic development experience while working as a Business Development Manager for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in both Northwest and Southwest Michigan. Throughout his career, Vandercook has been passionately dedicated to leadership, training, and staff development. Additionally, his experience in successfully launching and leading national staffing campaigns has given him the insight to identify key labor market indicators and capitalize on the potential of the existing workforce to meet employers? needs. Terry Vandercook is a Northwest Michigan native and returned to the area as a United States Air Force retired military veteran.