Leaders gather at BGSU Firelands for Business Roundtable

More than 40 business, community and public sector leaders gathered at Bowling Green State University Firelands in Huron, Ohio, in October for a Business Roundtable to share insight into possible degree pathways to meet the current and future employment needs of the region.

“Workforce development is the No. 1 priority when we talk about the economic future of the state of Ohio, and BGSU is here to help satisfy the workforce needs of the community,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey.

During the event, university administrators solicited advice from the group on new programs, degrees and career trajectories. They also discussed the cultivation of career pathways through the development of internships and co-ops.

The audience was comprised of a broad cross section of stakeholders including industry leaders in manufacturing, health care, business, technology, entertainment and agriculture.

“Our employment needs at the hospital are diverse,” said Jim Sennish, vice president of human resources at Firelands Regional Medical Center, a multi-campus facility employing more than 2,000 people. “Opportunities like this to share information with the college about our educational and workforce needs are invaluable.”

The event was facilitated by Dr. Bonnie Mathies, former dean of Wright State Lake Campus, Celina, Ohio. During her tenure at Wright State, Mathies increased enrollment by more than 30 percent and nearly doubled the number of bachelor degree programs offered at the college.

Similar in size and composition to Wright State Lake Campus, BGSU Firelands seeks to emulate the collaborative relationship that Mathies was able to establish by implementing an annual business summit with her community.

“Our Business Roundtable will serve as the catalyst for ongoing and continued dialogue with community leaders on how best the college can address issues of regional workforce development,” said BGSU Firelands Dean Andy Kurtz.

The college intends to hold additional Business Roundtables in the future.