Through periodic MAX Member Spotlights, our MAX team is honored to help our broader workforce development network get to know our members better in order to strengthen connections, collaborations, and practices among workforce developers and organizations engaged in workforce development. Here, our members share insights on how MAX is helpful in their work, accomplishments they’re most proud of, emerging trends they see as affecting workforce development, and more.
Why did you become a MAX member?
Serving in my role of engaging the community with Altierus Career College, I knew having access to a forum that could facilitate partnerships and effective communication between students, job seekers, employers and all the many organizations involved in education / workforce development would be invaluable. This is a “team sport,” and I wanted to be well-prepared to get into the game and be a valuable team player!
How long have you been engaged with the MAX network?
1 to 3 years
How has being a member of MAX benefitted you or your organization?
MAX has established a unique comprehensive information clearinghouse and forum that is serving a critical role in connecting organizations engaged in education / workforce development and communicating programs, events, and other relevant information for those seeking and delivering related services throughout Metro Atlanta. Altierus has benefited, significantly, through the connections and communication facilitated through active involvement with MAX, and we appreciate all that MAX does to also enable others to benefit from engagement with Altierus Career College!
How have you engaged through MAX in the past 12 months?
MAX Academy, MAX Leadership Network, MAX Minutes, MAX Mondays, MAX Talks
Which event do you most look forward to attending?
I look forward to all MAX events. I have found the MAX Minutes to be particularly beneficial in learning about other organizations that partner in the work of education / workforce development ‒ allowing Altierus to explore best practices and opportunities for effective engagement partnerships.
How many years have you served in the workforce development profession?
37 years (directly – 12 years; indirectly – 25 years)
Why do you serve in this profession? What motivates you or inspires you to do what you do?
I am passionate about building and nurturing effective and innovative partnerships between educational institutions, businesses, community-based organizations, faith-based communities, and others with community engagement missions − connecting resources with needs and interests, to garner support and bring about transformation! Through work in local and statewide economic development, education / workforce development has been identified as among the most critical success factors. Serving in this arena not only enhances communities, but also has long-term transformative impacts on the lives of individuals and their families. The opportunity to serve in this discipline is inspiring and very rewarding!
What is something you and/or your organization have accomplished in the past 12 months that you are most proud of?
In early 2020, Altierus Training Solutions began a successful partnership with CoolSys, a national leader in commercial HVAC Refrigeration. Through a collaborative approach, we built a technology-driven training program to upskill their technicians. Our success together serves as a harbinger of greater opportunities in the employer training market at large. With intense competition for scarce talent on the rise and a shortage of new talent entering key industries, it has become clear that employers need to differentiate themselves as desirable workplaces while growing proprietary recruiting pipelines. Altierus Training Solutions is intent on helping to address these needs, while Altierus Career College continues to focus on preparing students for roles in high-demand occupations in allied health and the skilled trades.
What are some emerging trends you see as affecting the job seekers and employers served through our profession?
In a recent “Question the Quo” survey, powered by the ECMC Group, more than 50% of Gen Z students are open to something other than a four-year college. Nearly 75% think a careers-based education makes sense today Growing interest in skills-based education, cost of education, and need or desire to get into the workforce quickly is making Career and Technical Education (CTE) more appealing. Employers are also looking for ways to provide on-site continuous learning and upskilling of their existing workforce in a flexible and cost-effective manner.
Is there anything you believe that we, as a profession, should do differently in the future to best serve those we serve?
We need to improve ways of ensuring that professional / soft skills are not a deterrent for individuals to obtain a job and grow in their chosen profession. We need to find effective ways to help students explore the full gamut of career pathways available for them to pursue their interests. In the “Question the Quo” survey, more than half of the students said they didn’t even know what CTE is, though their higher education desires align with what CTE provides. 85% of students think true success is having a job that matches their passion. At the appropriate time and place, every student should be given a career assessment tool such as YouScience and provided with the opportunity to review results and discuss implications with trained counselors. Our students must be encouraged to take full advantage of opportunities to develop a positive vision and chart a flexible course that can be invaluable in realizing their potential career aspirations ‒ fostering true success and fulfillment in their professions.
What is a little-known fun fact about you?
I earned an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from UGA and maintain a passion for landscape design. When not serving students, if I’m not hiking the north Georgia mountains, you are apt to find me in a garden at home or elsewhere.
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