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Gates Foundation Symposium Addresses Higher Education

Charlotte, N.C. - March 27, 2013 - Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University, participated in a symposium today at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte presented by Black Enterprise and sponsored by the  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The symposium titled “Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce,” is part of an educational series aimed at cultivating a conversation between the academic and business communities. The Charlotte symposium focused on how postsecondary schools must meet the needs of students of color, and prepare them for careers in corporate America.

Dr. Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor, Harvard Law School moderated the one-on-one conversation with Dr. Carter and panelists from Bank of America, MDC, Inc., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , Duke Energy and others. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx also participated in the symposium.

According to the 2010 report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, 63% of all job openings over the next eight years will require postsecondary education or training. The symposium dialogue covered the challenges faced by large numbers of African American students – especially those from low-income families – advancing from a college education to becoming valued members of the global workforce.

Specifically, the participants addressed the following key issues:

-          Expansion of the pipeline for African American college students

-          Means of increasing collegiate retention and graduation rates

-          Development of marketable skills among college students

-          Access to financial resources and financial literacy

-          Value of partnerships among academic institutions, foundations and corporations to identify and meet demands of a global workforce.

Coverage of the event will appear online in the upcoming issue of Black Enterprise Magazine.

 

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