top of page
  • Writer's pictureProject on Workforce Team

Convening on Advancing Economic Mobility at Community Colleges


The Project on Workforce at Harvard, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), and the Education Design Lab are bringing together community college leaders from across the country for a day-long convening designed to strengthen colleges’ capacity to drive economic mobility and regional growth. Building on the research and findings in America’s Hidden Economic Engines, the event will facilitate deep learning and connections among community college leaders. It will be an opportunity to share best practices and develop joint solutions to pressing workforce challenges.

The convening will take place on Wednesday, July 24 at NOVA’s Annandale campus and feature a full day of programming. The morning will be dedicated to panel discussions with college presidents and other leaders on key topics, including establishing meaningful employer-college partnerships and leveraging industrial policy to drive innovation. In the afternoon, attendees will participate in workshops designed to develop evidence-based strategies to workforce challenges–such as leveraging real-time labor market information and new technologies, designing new financing mechanisms, and developing college leadership pipelines.

This is an in-person, invite-only event.

Date: Wednesday, July 24 

Time: 8:30a - 4:30p

Location: NOVA’s Annandale Campus (8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003), Ernst Community Cultural Center


Tentative Agenda

8:30a - 9a Breakfast

9a - 9:20p Welcome

9:20a - 12p Panel Discussions

9:20-10:20a Insights from America’s Hidden Economic Engines 


Anne Kress, President of Northern Virginia Community College

Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor of San Jacinto College

Lee Lambert, Former Chancellor of Pima Community College

Bob Schwartz, Co-Editor of America’s Hidden Economic Engines 

10:20-10:30a Break 

10:30-11:15a Building employer-college partnerships

11:15a-12p  Industrial policy and regional innovation

12p - 1p Lunch

1p - 4p Workshops

1-1:50p  Workshop 1

Option A: Leveraging labor market information

Steven Partridge, Vice President for Strategy, Research and Workforce Innovation at NOVA

Option B: Connecting credit and non-credit offerings 

Ian Roark, Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development & Innovation at Pima Community College

Option C: Innovative financing mechanisms 

Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College

2-2:50p  Workshop 2

Option D: Developing college leaders 

Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College

Option E: Building student supports

Option F: Strengthening dual-enrollment 

Paula Chrin Dibley, Chief Officer of Student Success and Strategic Innovation at Forsyth Tech, and Jessica Lauritsen, Senior Education Designer at Education Design Lab

3-3:50p   Workshop 3

Option G: Regional economic development 

Option H: State policy solutions 

Option I: Leveraging AI and emerging technologies

4p - 4:30p Close

Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.


Travel Information

The convening will take place in Annandale, Virginia, conveniently located near numerous hotel options for those opting to arrive ahead of schedule or depart the following day. We have compiled a few options, below:

Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park

3111 Fairview Park Dr, Falls Church, VA 22042

Archer Hotel Falls Church

8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA 22031

Homewood Suites by Hilton Falls Church

8130 Porter Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042

Directions to Venue

Northern Virginia Community College

8430 Center Drive

Annandale, VA 22003

Enter the Ernst Cultural Center, which will take you to the main lobby/atrium. Either go up the central floor staircase, or use the elevator just behind the stairs. At the top of the stairs is the Long Nguyen & Kimmy Duong Forum where the event is located. 

Parking will be in a designated parking lot close to the building. More information to come.


America’s Hidden Economic Engines

This convening is inspired by the volume, America’s Hidden Economic Engines: How Community Colleges Can Drive Shared Prosperity, edited by Bob Schwartz and Rachel Lipson. To learn more about the book or to purchase a copy, please visit the Harvard Education Press website.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page