On March 23, the committee continued its series of linking business with education and was pleased to welcome OCBC member Kathy Johnson of Vital Link and guest speaker, Morgan Empey Cisco Systems Inc.
Mr. Empey opened the presentation by giving a company overview and discussed how the internet and technology can impact Workforce Development.
Given the education programs that he has worked on, My Empey stated that the biggest change between students and their teachers is communication. Teachers that have been in the classroom for 30 plus years may have a different view of communication when teaching students of today. The students in the classroom seek and expect instant information. Books have become obsolete, but video is huge.
Mr. Empey posed the question of how do we get the right information at the right time and how to ensure that every classroom is retrofitted with the latest technology to feed the minds of today’s students. Cisco Systems is working with schools to enable them to be virtual classrooms where students from the across the nation and the world can share information instantaneously. The company uses the phrase, “Edutainment,” rationalizing that education has to be interactive and engaging.
Cisco Systems work regularly with the Superintendents by inviting them to their facility and having them take part in interacting with the technology on sight in the hopes that it will drive schools to update their own technology and partner with the company for the future workforce.
Vital Link is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preparing all students to select a Career by Choice, Not Chance.
For 21 years Vital Link has been delivering student career exploration programs, professional development activities for CTE educators, and brings in industry professionals into the career program from the outside to speak with the students.
Historically Vital Link serves 4,500 students each year and has a waiting list. Programs fill up within days of publicizing.
Students engaged with Vital Link often seek connections to industry and want opportunities to try out the technology and work based activities
Vital Link will take students out into the field focusing on environmental programs, TV production, mock surgeries, or event take back lot tours to learn the Disney process for developing.
Cisco Systems and Vital Link work in tandem to ensure that students are engaged and focused on a career path for success. As long as the classroom is engaging and technology based for today’s students, then the partnership is a win-win for the company.