A panel of key players from the region discusses the demands of a changing labor market


A roundtable at RIT among some of the Rochester area’s key stakeholders – employers, government officials, economic development leaders and higher education experts – led to the launch of RIT Certified, which aims to provide a wide range of alternative education courses, certificate programs, and competency-based learning experiences targeting people who are starting their careers, changing roles, keeping their current jobs, or advancing in the workplace.

RIT Certified will begin offering a diverse portfolio of workforce development and skills training courses and certificate programs this fall.

“I think there’s a very strong mission orientation to what we do at RIT Certified, and we’ve built that into our service model,” said Ian Mortimer, vice president of enrollment management and vice -associate president of RIT Certified. “There are far too many high school graduates who don’t see a clear path or trajectory to social and economic mobility, as well as too many middle-aged employees who feel tension and stress because they have been disrupted, either within their organization or the industry in which they work.

“And there are also far too many people who are at the twilight of their career and who are expelled without having the dignity to finish as they please,” he added. “It’s a very human endeavor and if we can change, improve and enhance a life every day and make someone walk taller or feel worthy in terms of who they are and why they exist through the power of meaningful work, we will have done our job as well as our employers and partners.

A crowd filled the Joseph M. Lobozzo alumni house on June 8 to help the university unveil the new initiative. Dennis Di Lorenzo, Chief Commercial Officer of RIT Certified, moderated the panel, “Bridging the Talent Gap: Partnerships for a Better Jobs Economy,” which addressed today’s reshaped economy amid the demands of a changing labor market.

“It’s critical that you look at it from the perspective of the effectiveness of providing resources to be able to re-equip and train new people to enter a space that they might not traditionally have access to, and that requires programs like RIT Certified,” said Mohammad “Mo” AhamedCEO and Chief Diversity Officer of EDI, an executive search consultancy. “Professionals are looking for but may not have time to come back for a terminal degree, so these alternative pathways will provide tremendous opportunities for workers to retool, retrain and succeed in the job market in a variety of ways. .”

RIT Certified will provide alternative education-to-employment pathways, providing applied training that serves both individuals in and out of the workforce and working professionals. Committed to promoting economic mobility and sustainability for people in all sectors of the workforce across the region, country and the world, RIT Certified is a partner of employers, helping organizations develop their potential, fill gaps in core and hard skills, provide results-based training and development to nurture and promote talent, and improve the models by which employers assess and assess talent.

“This isn’t your lifelong career; it’s really about incorporating those skills into your next job,” observed Di Lorenzo, who co-leads RIT Certified with Learning Experience Manager Therese Hannigan. “As we think about RIT certification, what we want to be able to do is increase degree training and provide training through apprenticeships to enable workers to gain experience in order to equalize what employers need.”

“Too often there are programs on the market that promise skill outcomes for everyone, but they are not realistic in terms of the knowledge and experience someone brings to that program,” he said. he adds. “RIT Certified does a lot of work to show that this program is designed for this particular person with this level of knowledge, this level of experience, and here are the results and the opportunities”

Ana Lissdirector of the Monroe County Department of Planning and Development and executive director of Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation (MCIDC) and the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA)said it was important to ensure that training programs such as those offered by RIT Certified continue to thrive in the Rochester area.

“Employers are partnering with RIT and economic development organizations, and we need to grow and continue to build on the success that has already been cultivated,” she said.

Matt HurlbuttPresident and CEO of Greater Rochester Companysaid the region relies on colleges and universities like RIT to stay competitive and keep talent fresh.

“We’re a college town and we don’t refer to ourselves as a college town,” Hurlbutt said. “We have a lot of companies trying to solve global problems that need to get out of the lab, to market, and to scale as quickly as possible. Each industry sector has certain needs and requirements, but they also try to inform key decision makers about what we have in the region, how they can connect to it, and how we can make collaboration as easy as possible. .

Julia Paganotalent strategy coordinator, ROC2025, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commercequalified as workforce readiness, especially among students, “crucial” for the region and that RIT certification will play a pivotal role in providing access to important certification programs that are in demand.

RIT alumnus Scott Redonpresident and chief technology officer of D3 Engineering, said, “RIT has been a major channel for us and has provided a local workforce” since the company was founded in 1999. “We are a 60-person company, but we have 10 openings right now,” he said. “If I could find 10 software engineers in a box, I would order them from Amazon. But it’s not that easy. We need workers with specialized skills.

With RIT certification, university leaders are marking the start of a new initiative to help employers, government, and nonprofits fuel the jobs pipeline.

“The creation of RIT Certified underscores RIT’s commitment to help stimulate the economy and promote professional and economic mobility in the region,” said Ellen Granberg, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “RIT has been providing career-oriented training and meeting the demands of employers and the economy for decades. Our academic strengths are aligned with the needs of today’s economy.

“With RIT certification, we will connect our areas of academic strength to new audiences who need alternative professional training and development opportunities. We will add to RIT’s knowledge capital by introducing new avenues for practitioners to participate in course delivery. And we will continue to align with employers, helping them rethink how they can recruit and retain talent and close skills gaps in their organizations. The conversation will continue as RIT continues to bridge the gap between education and access to work,” she concluded.

For more information or to watch a replay of the roundtable, go to RIT certified website.


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