Proposed Summit Date:   Friday, June 2, 2017

Harris-Stowe State University


Summit: Overview of Purpose:  The Black Leadership Roundtable will provide leadership on highlighting Forward Through Ferguson’s (FTF) Signature Priority on Opportunity to Thrive which focuses on:

  1. Enhancing Collaboration Between Educational Institutions and Employers and;
  2. Encouraging life-long learning and funding for job training.


This will be accomplished by collaborating with the United Way, Forward Through Ferguson, FOblr_podium-summit-WDS revisedCUS St. Louis, the Regional Chamber, the Regional Business Council, St Louis County Office of Workforce Development, SLATE, St Louis Public Schools, Special School District, St. Louis Community College and other community partners to bring together the leadership of major organizations focusing on improving the workforce development and educational opportunities for African Americans in the St. Louis community.  Furthermore, an objective is to assess opportunities for partnerships and collaborations that will strengthen outcomes through systems of monitoring and accountability.  Prior to the Summit, the organizations will be asked to complete a survey questionnaire via Survey Monkey outlining their organization’s mission, target audiences, target areas, outcomes and service gaps and needs.  The survey data collected will be compiled and results used as baseline information for discussions at the Summit.  Leaders of the following organizational categories will be invited to the Summit: businesses, workforce development, K-12 education, community colleges, organized labor, technical education, job training and placement agencies.


The goals of the Summit are:


  • To provide an opportunity for a cross section of leaders to learn and share their knowledge and information about workforce issues in the St. Louis region.
  • To have an interactive process to reveal service needs, gaps and opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
  • To develop a jointly agreed Agenda to be used as the basis of providing information to the larger community about workforce challenges and opportunities and provide a framework that will bring together a cross-section of funders to facilitate buy-in and financial support for gaps/needs identified.

Key Provisions of FTF– Opportunity to Thrive – Call to Action

  • Enhance Collaboration Between Educational Institutions and Employers statewide by:
    • Establishing a regional intermediary to ensure greater public-private collaboration in assessing workforce needs and communicating those needs to K-12 institutions, job training programs, and post-secondary education institutions;
    • Developing a regional strategy for aligning educational programs to workforce needs that have clearly established indicators to measure progress in creating stronger regional talent development initiatives;
    • Encouraging schools, especially community colleges, to utilize industry professionals as trainers to develop joint programs that educate and train area students for jobs that are available or coming in a diversity of industries (e.g. the partnership between St. Louis Community College and Boeing);
    • Requiring public schools, both K-12 and post –secondary to align instruction to college and career readiness standards that are more comprehensive; and
    • Investing in public schools (including North County), both K-12 and post-secondary, to integrate high-quality career and technical education (CTE) into the curriculum in part through work-based learning through internships and other opportunities borne of strong relationships with the business community (e.g. Clyde C. Miller Academy).
  • Ensure Employer Collaborations to Build a “Love of Learning
    • Ensure all effort and models designed to align K-12, higher education and workforce development support the social and emotional development of children, youth,
      and young adults and broadly build life-long learning skills and a love for learning.

In bringing together educators, employers, workforce developers, business leaders and community leaders, the Summit will promote the development of collaborations and partnerships that will result in improved work and educational outcomes for African American in the St. Louis region and will lead to the development of plans for the implementation of the Ferguson Commission’s Forward Through Ferguson calls to action.

Summit Partnerships

Stephen Lewis – Associated General Contractors of St. Louis

Roz Voellinger – St. Louis United Way

Dave Baker – Special School District

Michael Holmes – SLATE

Steve Long – St. Louis Community College

Greg Laposa – St. Louis Regional Chamber

Beth Bender – St. Louis Public Schools

Katie Kaufmann – St. Louis United Way

Wray Clay – St. Louis United Way

Nicole Hudson – Forward Through Ferguson

Andrea Jackson Jennings – American Job Center, St. Louis County


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