Exploring opportunities for school-business collaboration

Our upcoming Future Ready Partnerships Conference will feature two of the region’s foremost proponents of collaboration between businesses and schools. Also on the agenda are speakers who already have engaged in the kinds of school-business partnerships that are helping better prepare students, while strengthening the region’s workforce.

PNC Financial Services Group’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Demchak will give the morning keynote and The Grable Foundation’s Executive Director Gregg Behr will speak after lunch.

The Conference takes place April 2 at the auditorium in the Tower at PNC Plaza. Attendees are invited to share insights via social media using the hashtag #FRPC .

With workforce challenges looming, Mr. Demchak, who also chairs the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, has been quoted as saying that businesses must become investors in talent as well as consumers of talent.

Mr. Behr, who chairs the Allegheny Conference’s K-12 Business Engagement Committee, has championed the kinds of innovative learning experiences needed to prepare students for a world where the velocity of change is greater than ever and where technology is profoundly changing both lives and livelihoods.

Among other speakers, John Mascaro, President and Chief Executive Officer  of Mascaro Construction, will discuss his own experience in a partnership that connected him with educators as a means of conveying information about in-demand jobs to students. Greensburg Salem School District’s Coordinator of Secondary Education, Dr. Ken Bissell, will talk about the ways business engagement is benefiting students in his community. And addressing conferees via video will be state Rep. Austin Davis (D-McKeesport) who plans to share his own story of a job-shadow that put him on his political career path.

The day also will feature breakout sessions designed to help educators and businesses learn how they can tap the power of partnerships themselves.