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Haslam to Host Regional Conference on Re-Imagining Workforce Development in the South

Press Release

Location: Nashville, TN

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today that as chairman of the Southern Growth Policies Board he is bringing together leaders from throughout the South to discuss critical education and workforce issues, with a view towards re-imagining how states prepare workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

The 2012 Chairman's Conference: Re-imagining Workforce Development will take place in Chattanooga on June 25 and 26 and will focus on job and workforce trends, including the skills leading businesses are looking for in their workers in order to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

The conference will also explore new ways of connecting existing efforts in education and workforce development and better aligning them with business needs.

"Tennessee is leading the way nationally in K-12 education reform and will continue to build on that momentum. We have also made progress in post-secondary education, and I believe the time is right to take that work to the next level," Haslam said. "Being intentional about matching the skills we're teaching our graduates with the real-world skills that employers are looking for is a crucial part of this process, and I look forward to hearing and learning from national experts in this discussion."

Featured speakers include:

Jamie Merisotis, President & CEO, Lumina Foundation
Marc Tucker, President & CEO, National Center on Education and the Economy
Ronald Ferguson, Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative and Co-Leader of the Pathways to Prosperity Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The conference marks the 40th anniversary of the Southern Growth Policies Board and will examine the progress of Southern states in education and workforce development, to reflect on what has changed over the past several decades, and to look ahead to what needs to be done to prepare for the future.

Kennedy Profile in Courage award-winner, former Gov. William Winter, who is most well-known for his role in leading the charge for education reform in Mississippi from 1980 to 1984, will be a leader in the discussion about the South's progress and prospects.

About Southern Growth Policies Board
Southern Growth Policies Board is a public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Formed by the region's governors in 1971, Southern Growth Policies Board researches and develops economic development policies by providing a forum for collaboration among a diverse cross-section of the region's governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic and community development sectors. Southern Growth provides its members, and the region, with authoritative research, discussion forums and pilot projects in the areas of technology and innovation, globalization, workforce development, community development, civic engagement and leadership. To learn more about Southern Growth Policies Board, visit

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