On September 16 & 17, 2019, NEBHE hosted nearly 40 employers, education providers and policymakers for a thinkers’ meeting on strategies to increase access to and completion of upskilling opportunities. Over the day-and-a-half meeting, participants discussed the needs and capacities and stakeholder groups, equitable access to upskilling programs and best practices in state policy.

Participants proposed a robust set of next steps and expressed an ongoing need for and commitment to cross-state dialogue on this and corollary issues.


Dave Clayton, SVP of Consumer Insights, Strada: New England Consumer Views on Postsecondary Education

Jaime Fall, Director of UpSkill America, Aspen Institute: The Upskilling Movement & What It Means to New England



  • Alice Pritchard, Chief of Staff, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
  • Kelli Vallieres, President, Sound Manufacturing
  • Mark Scheinberg, President, Goodwin College
  • Natalie Real, Chief Administrative Officer, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology
  • Taylor Van Antwerp, Director of Career Development, University of Bridgeport


  • Brenda McAleer, Associate Provost and Dean of Professional Studies, University of Maine Augusta
  • Claire Sullivan, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Innovation in Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials, University of Maine System
  • Dan Coffey, Cianbro Institute Manager, Cianbro
  • Ellen Beaulieu, Vice President of Strategy and Communications, University of New England
  • Jason Davis, Director of Apprenticeships, Panolam Specialty Resins
  • Jason Judd, Executive Director, Educate Maine
  • Joshua Howe, Program Coordinator, Maine State Workforce Board
  • Lisa MacDonald Cooper, Program Director, Education and the Workforce, Maine Development Foundation
  • Robert Clark, President, Husson University


  • Beth Nicklas, General Counsel and Vice President, Mass Life Sciences Center
  • Bruce Van Dyke, Founder and Chair, Biotechnology and Good Manufacturing Practice, Quincy College
  • Kathy Rentsch, Associate Vice President of Workforce and Innovation, Quinsigamond Community College
  • Karim Hill, President and CEO, New England Small Business Association
  • Kathryn Decelles, Career Coach, Partners Healthcare System
  • Viviana Abreu-Hernandez, Associate Vice President of External Affairs, Quinsigamond Community College 

New Hampshire

  • Brian Bicknell, President, Manchester Community College
  • Larisa Baia, President, Lakes Region Community College
  • Michelle Perkins, President, New England College
  • Ockle Johnson, Provost, Keene State College
  • Sarah Currier, Director, Workforce Development, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital
  • Sue Castriotta, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Keene State College
  • Val Zanchuk, President, Graphicast, Inc.

Rhode Island

  • Amy Grzybowski, Executive Director, Westerly Education Center
  • Frank Sanchez, President, Rhode Island College
  • Jackie Tavares Scungio, Human Resources Operations Director, Providence Community Health Centers
  • Joe Devine, Partner, Bridge Technical Talent
  • Julian Alssid, Workforce Development, Community College of Rhode Island
  • Kim McCauley, Chief Human Resources Officer, Narragansett Bay Insurance Company


  • Johnna Herrick-Phelps, Assistant Provost, Champlain College
  • Paul Millman, President, Chroma Technology Corp
  • Phil Susmann, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Norwich University
  • Tiffany Keune, Associate Dean of Workforce Education, Community College of Vermont