Joint UNC Charlotte/UCP program explores the future of our workforce

Jennifer Gresham

Dr. Jennifer Gresham of Work for Humanity

What will our future workforce look like? And how can Charlotte prepare our workers for the skills they’ll need?

To help provide answers, UNC Charlotte’s Research and Economic Development and University City Partners recently hosted a talk by Dr. Jennifer Gresham, founder of Work for Humanity, on “Rising Tides: Rethinking Education in an Age of Uncertainty.”

In her keynote presentation on Dec. 5 at the university’s PORTAL Building, Gresham discussed future workforces as a combination of specialists and “agilists,” a term she uses to identify individuals who have a breadth of experience, enjoy complexity and prefer working across disciplines.

She noted that in order to create more agilists, there must be a designed shift in educational programming and workforce preparedness. Additionally, Gresham believes that employers will need to rethink hiring practices and performance criteria for agilists.

University City Partners co-presented Gresham’s talk in conjunction with the university’s Division of Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, Lee College of Engineering and the Graduate School.

The talk was part of an annual celebration of UNC Charlotte’s Research and Community Partners. Hilton Charlotte University Place, Turner, Atrium Health, Foundation for the Carolinas, GOM, and the city of Charlotte co-sponsored the celebration.

More about Dr. Jennifer Gresham

Gresham is the founder of Work for Humanity, a nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals develop the self-confidence, independence and technical skill to teach themselves nearly anything and demonstrate their capacity for more valuable and meaningful work.

A research scientist for the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Gresham previously served 16 years in the United States Air Force and was the assistant chief scientist for the 711 Human Performance Wing of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Maryland.

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