Increasing Global Competitiveness through Collaborative Education and Work Force Development Efforts

CSG Growth and Prosperity: Virtual Summit of the States 2.0

Increasing Global Competitiveness through Collaborative Education and Work Force Development Efforts
April 13, 2011

The gap between how well states prepare and equip their work forces and what is demanded in a highly dynamic, technology advanced and globally structured 21st century economy is growing. Yet while the gap exists and is recognized, there is neither clarity nor agreement on its nature or how to gauge its dynamics. How well a state prepares and equips its workers will determine its economic future. Learn about strategies to develop highly competent workers who can succeed in a competitive global marketplace and how states can utilize K-12 and postsecondary education, including community colleges, to prepare individuals as educated, technology-adept and highly productive world-class workers. 


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Daniel J. Hurley, Director, State Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of State Colleges and Universities 

Daniel Hurley has served as the director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities since March 2007. The association, located in Washington, D.C., consists of some 420 public college and university presidents, chancellors and system heads. In his capacity, Hurley provides analysis and commentary on a broad range of public policy issues affecting higher education at the campus, system, state and national level. His expertise includes issues related to college access and higher education finance, as well as economic issues associated with public postsecondary education.  Hurley is coordinating the development of the AASCU Innovations Exchange, an online repository of institutional best practices at U.S. public universities spanning a broad range of issues critical to helping campuses' carry out their missions. He takes a lead role in coordinating the annual conference on Higher Education Government Relations, sponsored by four national higher education associations. In addition to the association's membership, he serves as a resource for several other groups associated with higher education and state policy, as well as the media.

Elizabeth Schneider, Vice President of State Advocacy and Outreach, Alliance for Excellent Education 

Elizabeth Schneider joined the Alliance in the Spring of 2005 as vice president of state advocacy and outreach. In that position, she has worked to help deepen the Alliance’s understanding of state and local high school reform, expand relationships with state and local reform leaders, and connect local, state and federal policy conversations around secondary school improvement. From March 2009 to January 2010, she served as the Alliance’s interim vice president for policy. Prior to joining the Alliance, Schneider served as executive director of the Southern Governors’ Association for 10 years, where she guided the development and advocacy of regional policy recommendations on federal issues, multi-state efforts to address regional challenges, and an an active leadership forum for the governors of 16 states and two U.S. territories. Previously, she worked as a senior legislative assistant to Alabama Sen. Howell Heflin.  

Schneider graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Birmingham Southern College with a bachelor's in English and has done graduate work in English at Georgetown University. She is an active member of the George Washington Middle School Parent Teacher Associations in Alexandria, Virginia and a board member of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

Sara Watson, Senior Officer, Pew Center on the States 

Sara Watson is a senior officer in the Pew Center on the States, a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts. She co-created and directs the Partnership for America’s Economic Succes, a collaboration of business leaders, economists and philanthropists that is mobilizing business to advocate for proven investments in young children. She created and was the interim director of Pew’s new Cost-Benefit Analysis Initiative, which helps states use cost-benefit data to inform policy. From 2001-08, she directed (and now advises) Pew’s national campaign to advance high quality early education for all 3- and 4-year-olds. She also designed and is now advising the Trusts’ newest children’s initiative, to encourage states to offer proven home visitation programs to at-risk families.

Before joining the Trusts, she was a program manager and the director of the Better Results Group for The Finance Project in Washington, D.C., where she directed multi-site foundation initiatives and wrote publications on financing and results-based accountability. She has worked for the Family Policy Council in Olympia, Wash., supporting a statewide network of community collaboratives. She was also the manager of the Improved Outcomes Project for the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, D.C., where she consulted with states and cities on reforming family and children’s services. Watson has a bachelor's degree (magna cum laude) from Carleton College, and master's and doctorate degrees from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.