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Employability: A National Imperative

December 4, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

In association with the Commission on Higher Education & Employability, NEBHE held its Employability: A National Imperative summit on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Expert speakers explored these and other pressing questions…

  • What kinds of jobs will be eliminated by the rise of analytics, automation and artificial intelligence? What kinds will be created?
  • Will higher education be able to innovate new roles to ensure that grads are “career ready”?
  • Can “People Analytics” help job applicants and employers speak the same language?
  • How will we bridge the “employability gap” facing students who lack the competencies to navigate successful and long-lasting careers

Our feedback suggests the conference was a great success, from the engaging discussion during plenary and concurrent sessions to the comments shared throughout the day. We are pleased the conference appeared to bring together the right people and provided an opportunity for you to share your thoughts, questions and expertise.

Video: Highlights

Welcome from Gina M. Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo greeted the audience in a pre-taped video address:

Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun spoke about the future of higher education in the age of artificial intelligence and the work of the Commission on Higher Education & Employability. Here, Aoun discusses a new curriculum he calls “humanics” …

And here on lifelong learning …

And here on consensus and innovation …

Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Núñez led a session at the Dec. 4 Summit about the Commission on Higher Education & Employability’s “Equity Imperative.” NEBHE aims to ensure that the Commission’s workforce vision serves all New Englanders … as a matter of social justice, but also as a matter of sound economics in the slow-growing region. Here, Núñez recounts her internship work with students who may not have cars or other resources to capitalize on off-campus work-integrated learning …

… and her work with Cigna Executive Vice President Mark Boxer, whose company gets diversity and new talent …

Former U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr., now president and CEO of The Education Trust, spoke at the Dec. 4 Summit about the Commission on Higher Education & Employability’s “Equity Imperative.” Here, King notes how institutional forces exacerbate segregation …

and suggests that institutions should help first-generation students practice ways to describe their work …

Estela Mara Bensimon, founder and director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, spoke at the Dec. 4 Summit about the Commission on Higher Education & Employability’s “Equity Imperative.” Here, Bensimon suggests a higher ed institutions have a performance gap in educating African-American, Latinx and Native American students …

And here, she speaks of higher ed institutions being “racialized” …

And data literacy on equity …

and a regional role …

Video: Full sessions

The morning pleneary session featuring Scott Carlson of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun, Fidelity Investments Senior Vice President (Talent Acquisition Group) Tara Amaral and General Dynamics Electric Boat Vice President of Human Resources & Administration Maura Dunn.

Materials and presentations

Click on each speaker’s name below to view and download a PDF version of their PowerPoint presentation featured at the conference:

  • David Daniels, President, Academic Partnerships
  • Laurie Lachance, President, Thomas College
  • The combined presentations offered by the panel of: Susan Brennan, Associate Vice President of University Career Services, Bentley University; Robert A. DiMuccio, Chairman, President and CEO, Amica Mutual Insurance Company; James R. Lowe, Assistant Vice Provost, Executive Director, Center for Career Development, University of Connecticut; David Kozhuk, Founder & CEO, uConnect and Alexandria Steinmann, Student, Bentley University
  • Michael K. Thomas, President and CEO, New England Board of Higher Education

Click below to download various other materials from the conference:

Information from NEBHE’s sponsors and partners:

Information about NEBHE’s programs and services:

We thank our sponsors for their generous support:


December 4, 2017
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Federal Reserve Bank of Boston