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This school gets it September 6, 2006

Posted by Tom in Community, Economic Development, Education, Technology, Workforce.

Can you tell that school is back in session? The “Convergence”-oriented media is awash with stories of how schools are trying (and a few even succeeding) in building workforce-economic development-education-community partnerships.

Great case in point: Washington State University – Vancouver, where the school is leveraging its resources to build ties with its community and employers:

Today it’s fantasy, but someday it could be a reality pegged to another distant dream: Southwest Washington being recognized as an innovative hub, well known for its university research and educated high-tech work force.

The network of sensors is professor Wenzhan Song’s dream. Song teaches computer science at Washington State University Vancouver, and in July won a $1.6 million research grant from NASA to put sensors on Mount St. Helens.

While Song recruits undergrads and graduate students to join his research, university administrators are engaged in high-tech efforts of their own. So are business owners, economic development boosters, school board members and high school students.

The goal is to forge better relationships between the university and surrounding high-tech companies.

“In most areas of innovation in this country, there’s a tie to a major world-class research university,” said Doug Anderson, a manager at Underwriters Laboratories’ Camas office. “Look at Silicon Valley, with Stanford and Berkeley.”

This article is so good that I could just cut-n-paste the entire piece. Simply put – this school gets it. The community does, too, as the article goes on to discuss the regional Workforce Development Council’s role, the integration of roles between university and high school and the forging of partnerships with area employers.



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