Hire education: Community colleges form ‘global commerce’ partnership

The presidents of the 10 community colleges in the Charlotte region have reached an agreement to form a new partnership aimed at making the region a hub of global commerce.

Called the Regional Collaborative for a Global Economy, the partnership members will seek to lead the region in its economic vision to make Charlotte a bigger player on a global scale. Keys to this vision will be producing a workforce capable of meeting the needs of and attracting more global companies and helping businesses of all sizes become more globally competitive.

“The Regional Collaborative for a Global Economy will bring together employers, innovative leaders and the region’s workforce development partners,” explained Dr. Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC). “The collaborative will work to communicate the Charlotte region’s global vision with policymakers and economic developers, while gaining their support. We’ll collaborate on skills training and share best practices to help ensure this region’s workforce is among the best trained in the world.”

The ultimate objectives of the collaborative, Zeiss said, are greater regional prosperity with more jobs, a globally competitive, job-ready workforce, and greater prominence for the Charlotte region in terms of global commerce.

Michael Almond, an attorney and former president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, will serve as the executive director of the regional collaborative. He will work closely with the 10 community colleges and policy makers and economic developers in the region.

“We want to see the Charlotte region gain competitiveness through innovation and entrepreneurship,” Almond said. “We have superb community colleges to train the employees needed by globally strategic employers. Working together through the collaborative and partnering with the many stakeholders, we can help our employers expand into global markets while attracting more international companies.”

Zeiss and Almond said the collaborative also will support the efforts of the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

The Regional Collaborative for a Global Economy is one result of the ongoing discussions concerning the establishment of a global economic vision for the Charlotte region. In 2012, CPCC began hosting a series of global competitiveness summits, at which regional policy makers and business leaders were invited to consider the region’s economic strengths and how to capitalize on them. CPCC has hosted three summits thus far, with a fourth set for March 18 — . From these summits, a global leaders vision group emerged, comprised of approximately 90 community leaders in the corporate, government, business and not-for-profit sectors. The global leaders vision group meets quarterly and has developed a strategic plan to move the region forward in becoming a global hub of commerce.

The 10 colleges forming the Regional Collaborative for a Global Economy are Catawba Valley, Central Piedmont, Cleveland, Gaston College, Mitchell, Northeastern Tech, Rowan-Cabarrus, South Piedmont, Stanly and York Tech. The tagline for the collaborative is, “Community Colleges Providing Leadership for Global Commerce.”