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“Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce,” supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation & Created by Black Enterprise

Charlotte, NC (BlackNews.com) — Black Enterprise, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is pleased to present “Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce,” on Wednesday, March 27, at The Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C. The Symposium is part of a series aimed to cultivate a conversation between top leaders in business, philanthropy and education about the critical challenges facing the American K-12 and postsecondary educational system. The Charlotte Symposium will focus on how postsecondary schools must change to meet the needs of today’s student and prepare them for successful careers in corporate America. The Symposium will discuss and analyze challenges, and present solutions – while illustrating the role business leaders can play in supporting and improving America’s postsecondary system and ensuring students graduate ready for success in career and life.

“America’s colleges are not graduating enough students – especially those of color – to meet the demand of employers,” says Allan C. Golston, President, U.S. Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Through our work with Black Enterprise, we hope to bring new voices and perspectives to this issue…Through dialogue with African American entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, these national symposiums will provide meaningful feedback and offer solutions to help prepare more students for success in postsecondary education and beyond.”

“By assisting and increasing the quality of education with postsecondary schools,” says Dr. Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor, Harvard Law, “we give students the competitive edge to compete internationally. Colleges must continue to train, prepare and equip students for the “real world.” The students are relying on us to prepare them for the workforce and we must fulfill our obligation to teach them. All academic institutions must be willing to critically evaluate and transform their current structure, courses offered and teaching methodologies to meet the future needs of our students and our society in a cost-effective manner.”

Symposium: Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce
When: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Symposium | 5:00p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Reception
Where: The Westin Charlotte, 601 College Street, Charlotte, N.C., Grand Ballroom C, 2nd Floor

Moderator: Dr. Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor, Harvard Law School

One-on-one Conversation with: Dr. Ronald Carter, President, Johnson C. Smith University

* Stephanie Butler, Global Campus Recruiting Executive, Bank of America
* David Dodson, President, MDC, Durham, N.C.
* Suzanne Walsh, Senior Program Officer, Postsecondary Success, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
* Richard “Stick” Williams, Vice President, Corporate Community Affairs, Duke Energy and President, The Duke Energy Foundation

Additional Program Participants:
* Derek Dingle, SVP/Editor-in-Chief, BLACK ENTERPRISE
* Mayor Anthony Foxx, City of Charlotte
* Allan C. Golston, President, U.S. Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
* Earl “Butch” Graves, President/CEO, BLACK ENTERPRISE

“It is imperative business leaders’ partner with the academic community ensuring our schools are producing graduates with the skills we desire for our businesses to remain competitive in this global economy,” says Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr., President and CEO, BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Black Enterprise has consistently sounded the call to address this crisis as the system even more egregiously fails our children it’s charged with educating and preparing for productive lives. If we are to have a strong workforce; we must have strong schools. We are proud to have the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the focus on solutions that can ultimately resolve this crisis; and that cannot be successfully executed without business leaders being fully committed to reform education.”

“It’s a cruel irony that right now, at a time when many Americans are looking for jobs, there are businesses who can’t find qualified workers to fill open positions,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “That’s a clear signal that employers have a key role to play in the education system. By ensuring our graduates are workforce-ready, we help our young people find better jobs, we help our businesses stay strong, and we help our entire economy compete in the global marketplace.”

The Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring all students in America have access to a great education.

BLACK ENTERPRISE is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine provides 4.1 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. BLACK ENTERPRISE is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.

Photo Caption: Dr. Ronald L. Carter, Johnson C. Smith University

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