Representatives from Indiana University campuses convened at the IUPUI Campus Center in early March for 2019 Education-to-Employment Convergence, the fifth annual E2E event hosted by IU. E2E Convergence was created as an ongoing forum to discuss the challenges, opportunities and strategies associated with strengthening sustainable pathways for students and graduates to secure meaningful work experiences and career opportunities in Indiana.
Jim Woodell, former vice president for economic development and community engagement at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, served as keynote speaker and facilitator. In his presentation, “Catalyzing Education to Employment Impact: Ecosystems, Engagement, and Agility,” he promoted three principles to strengthen the impact universities have on talent and workforce development: developing the ecosystem, engaging stakeholders and staying agile.
Spurred by discussion led by Woodell and the sharing of leading talent development practices from IU campuses and peer universities, the group examined various ways of inventorying internal assets, developing a practice of listening to external stakeholders, co-designing solutions with stakeholders, convening diverse resources and assets, and taking action. Examples included an internship program for traditionally underrepresented students, a program for international students seeking to return to their home country for jobs, and extended student externships with technology companies in Indianapolis.
During E2E Convergence, participants initiated planning discussions around ways to enhance delivery of career services to students through sharing data, creating technology pathways and engaging regional employers. Through feedback provided after the event, participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate directly with colleagues from around the state in developing innovative new frameworks. Responses also advocated for creating tangible action items from the collaborative efforts as a next step.
Through this important learning and networking event, IU campuses will be better positioned to make advancements benefiting talent development and retention in Indiana.