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UT System convenes national experts to explore ways to better align higher education and the workforce

AUSTIN—The University of Texas System is bringing together academic and business leaders from across the country to discuss the dynamic between higher education and the workforce at the first-ever Vertex Conference April 18-19 in Austin.

The Vertex Conference series was devised as an annual national forum hosted by different UT System offices and featuring a variety of topics across higher education. This year’s theme – At the Intersection of Higher Education and the Workforce – is presented by the Office of Strategic Initiatives and will showcase different methodologies to utilize and implement workforce data while discussing best practices, innovative ideas and technology solutions.

The conference also will provide an opportunity for employers to discuss what skills are needed from graduates and for higher education officials to consider how to quantify and communicate the value of getting students into jobs.

“What we hope to do is bring together people from different sectors to start to speak a common language and converse around how we as higher education institutions can better prepare our students for the workforce,” said Stephanie Bond Huie, Ph.D., vice chancellor for the Office of Strategic Initiatives. 

There will be 28 presentations and more than 40 speakers at the Vertex Conference in settings ranging from highly technical data workshops to moderated discussions on the broader policy implications of workforce data.

Featured speakers include Bill Bates, executive vice president of the Council on Competitiveness; Tony Carnevale, Ph.D., professor and director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce; Jennifer Engle, Ph.D., senior program officer at The Gates Foundation; and David Gardner, Ph.D., deputy commissioner for academic planning and policy for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and John Graff, vice president of corporate marketing for National Instruments.

“Texas has become increasingly engaged in a global economy dependent on a skilled and knowledgeable workforce,” Gardner said. “The state’s new strategic plan for higher education, 60x30TX, charts a course to better align higher education and the workforce, setting Texas on a path toward continued prosperity. The best way to achieve our goals is through a focused and continued attention to workforce data.”

The UT System is a national leader in providing workforce data to help students plan their future through the seekUT tool, which will be one of many innovative technologies featured at Vertex during the networking and showcase reception at 5 p.m. Monday, April 18. Those attending Vertex will get a sneak peek at an enhanced version of seekUT, which will be launched in the coming months.

For more information and to register, visit the Vertex Conference website.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 217,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $16.9 billion (FY 2016) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates – and more than 70,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

News Contact Information

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