It is very difficult to comprehend this tragic week of senseless violence ending in the deaths of so many in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and here in Falcon Heights. I know our hearts go out especially to the loving family and friends of Philando Castile. We share in the overwhelming sense of loss and devastation felt by those who knew him, and offer our heartfelt condolences. We will keep all the family members and friends of the victims of all these tragedies in our thoughts and prayers.
As our everyday lives must continue, we still will not lose sight of how we can all work together to be voices of civility, peace, and inclusion that honor our differences during this time of loss in our communities and across the country.
Here are a few items to share about my week that focus on building partnerships in our community:
- Comprehensive Workforce Solution meeting - along with three other Minnesota State Colleges and Universities presidents, we met to initiate a conversation about the development of a Comprehensive Workforce Solution model. This model ensures that we leverage the customized training and continuing education units of our colleges and universities so we can use their expertise and resources to strengthen Minnesota’s workforce in a manner that is financially sustainable and market competitive. This model must enables us to serve more employers (including larger companies) more proactively, more comprehensively, and deliver greater value that draws upon the broad portfolio of expertise and assets across Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
- Meeting with a Community Leader: I met with a community leaders who is a passionate supporter of Saint Paul College to discuss philanthropy and Minnesota’s current and future economic and workforce trends.
- DEED and Office of Career and Business Opportunity Meeting - the new DEED Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Career and Business Opportunity visited and toured our campus. We discussed the vital role that Saint Paul College plays in economic development and job creation as well as talent development and economic development in the metro and greater region of Minnesota.
- Meeting with an Employer - the Dean of Health Sciences and I met with an area employer to discuss Minnesota’s workforce trends, and the critical role that Saint Paul College plays in providing relevant and innovative programs to produce well-educated and well-trained workers who contribute to our economy and a prosperous Minnesota.
In the news this week:
- In the Pioneer Press:
- Saint Paul College is the No. 1 choice among Saint Paul Public School graduates - The College enrolled one in every four college-bound members of the city’s 2014 graduating class, according to the article With UMN out of reach, more St. Paul grads pick community colleges. The stats come from the Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS) matching student data from pre-kindergarten through completion of postsecondary education and into the workforce.
- Prenatal-to-Three Policy Forum held at Saint Paul College - More than 130 people registered and attended the event where Rep. Dave Pinto, a St. Paul Democrat, hosted a Prenatal-to-Three Policy Forum which included presentations from such groups as the African-American Babies Coalition, the MinneMinds Coalition and Minnesota Communities Caring for Children. More can be read about the event in the online Pioneer Press editorial Friday Opinuendo: On college-town connections, little Minnesotans, cookies and more
- In the Star Tribune:
- Culinary Arts program again in the news - Beyond farmers markets: Falcon Heights food hub helps growers sell produce – The Good Acre food hub is where Chef Nathan Sartain, Culinary Arts, buys produce, including vegetable “seconds” that might be overly large or blemished, but are perfect for students to use in a braise or purée, as part of their curriculum and learning experience.
- National Skills Coalition’s report features International Institute of Minnesota and Saint Paul College:
Collaborating to Help New Americans Succeed in Community College: An Example from Minnesota - Saint Paul College’s partnership with the International Institute of Minnesota is included as an example of an effective collaboration on designing and implementing robust transitional supports for promoting student success. See page 10 of the report: Upskilling the New American Workforce: Demand-Driven Programs that Foster Immigrant Worker Success & Policies that Can Take Them to Scale
In closing for the week, since none of us know what the next day or hour will bring to us in our lives, it is even more important to express thanks to our community, both in and around the College, for caring about and for our students and each other. I am very grateful to be part of a community of such diversity and genuine interest and concern for each other that exists at Saint Paul College.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College