APSU to keep local job market strong with new survey and business and industry summit
(Posted May 7, 2019)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University has developed a national reputation in recent years for its innovative practices, and in the next few months, the University will take another step forward by attempting to predict the future. Specifically, the University plans to forecast how the Clarksville-Montgomery County business and industrial landscape will look in the next two years, allowing local leaders to take full advantage of the current momentum sweeping through the growing Middle Tennessee region.
To achieve this vision of the future, the University’s Division of External Affairs has commissioned a ground-breaking Industry Climate survey, which will be distributed to business, industry and government leaders in the next few days. The results will be unveiled during the Austin Peay State University Business and Industry Summit on Oct. 3.
“Last year we hosted the first industry summit, which was a tremendous success,” retired Marine Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey, APSU vice president for external affairs, said. “As a result of the relationships and initiatives we walked away with, we said we need to do a survey to make sure we align with what businesses say they need.”
Last October, the University brought together business, industry, education and government leaders for the inaugural summit, following the Economic Development Council’s call for “a platform where industry can be the leader in partnering with education and government to tackle workforce issues that are inherent to all.” That event identified some gaps in what local employers needed and the programs offered at Austin Peay. University officials began looking at ways to develop new academic programs or rework existing ones to better align with the community’s workforce needs. The results from this new survey will give the University and local employers a clearer picture of what those needs will be in the next few years.
“The questions in the survey are economic driven,” Dr. Andrew Luna, executive director of APSU decision support and institutional research, said. “The survey will be used to give an overall economic picture of the Clarksville-Montgomery County area. It’s dealing with what businesses and industries are planning to do within the next 18 months. What do they need in terms of new employees? What are they finding in their new employees?”
“The results will be beneficial not just to Austin Peay, but to the Chamber of Commerce, to local governments, to the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, to the businesses themselves when they see how their peers are looking at the same kinds of factors and attributes of the Clarksville area.”
The survey and the Oct. 3 summit will also align with Gov. Bill Lee’s new Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) initiative, which calls for increasing vocational and technical training opportunities for students. According to a release by the governor’s office, GIVE uses “regional partnerships to develop work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. Communities will now have the funding and flexibility to build programs that best reflect local needs and work directly with private industry to structure programming.”
The APSU survey, which is available at www.apsu.edu/summit, will help the region identify those needs to secure important GIVE funding.
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