Representatives from Indiana University campuses convened at the IUPUI Campus Center in mid-February for the 2020 Education-to-Employment Convergence, the sixth annual E2E event hosted by IU.
E2E Convergence is 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.
Bill Stephan, IU vice president for government relations and economic engagement, welcomed attendees and provided an overview of the event. He said the goal of the event was to advance conversations to help employers and educators understand their respective needs. He also asked how the university could ensure more students find employment in Indiana after graduation.
David L. Johnson, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, delivered the keynote address. He spoke about the history, membership and mission of the CICP. He said it focuses on advanced industries within the state, and that 12 percent of the Indiana workforce is employed in those industries — higher than the national average of 7 to 9 percent.
Johnson said CICP wants international leaders to consider Indianapolis a destination of choice in the life sciences industry. IU — through its IUPUI campus — is positioned to make an impact in this area as a highly visible, highly engaged research university that partners and confers with industry.
Amy Conrad Warner, vice chancellor in the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, moderated the first panel about workforce attention and retention. Panelists included leaders from education, nonprofit organizations and industry:
- Jason Bearce, vice president for education & workforce development, Indiana Chamber
- Uric Dufrene, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, Indiana University Southeast
- Danny Lopez, senior vice president and chief of staff, Strada Education Network
- Adrienne Sims-Davis, vice president for talent management, OneAmerica
Key topics discussed were retaining college graduates within the state, making students aware of competitive opportunities within the state and what skills college graduates need to transition into their career.
Teresa Bennett, assistant vice chancellor in the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, moderated the second panel about college-to-career transition. Panelists included three IUPUI alumni and two current IUPUI students:
- Batuhan Ak, foundry manager, Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers Inc.
- Katy Crichlow Cummings, chief advancement officer, Child Advocates Inc.
- Erin Dotlich, quality control leader, Eli Lilly & Company
- Lidaou Edjeou, marketing and international studies, IUPUI student
- Ryan Fraser, business finance and international studies, IUPUI student
Key topics discussed were the most valuable skills, development practices, or experiences for professional growth and success; successful attraction and retention strategies; and what changes the alumni would have made during their college years to learn about the job market.
The 2020 E2E Convergence concluded with roundtable discussions of the keynote address and panels. Attendees shared which ideas had the most potential, the impact the idea could generate at their school and how to implement it.