Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Connecting Workforce, Equity and Community Impact: Peirce’s Executive Breakfast Was a Success

On Friday, October 6, 2017, Peirce College was honored to host our Annual Executive Leadership Breakfast where we welcomed over 100 cross-sector leaders to our Center City campus. This year’s SOLD OUT event “Education Reimagined: Connecting Workforce, Equity, and Community Impact” directly supported our efforts to build unique workforce partnerships and market-based learning solutions.

Thought Leadership


Four panelists, experts within their respective areas of focus, brought an array of knowledge, best practices and backgrounds to our discussion:
  • Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite
  • AmeriHealth Caritas Senior VP and Chief Human Resources Officer Carol Wilson Pandza
  • Peirce College President and CEO James Mergiotti
  • Comcast NBCUniversal Senior VP, Community Investment Dalila Wilson-Scott
They were the right combination of thought leaders to drive an open, innovative conversation. Although they approached the panel from varied perspectives, they arrived at a necessary intersection – the critical importance of aligning education with our city and region's workforce needs and doing so with a spirit of partnership and a focus on equity.

Dr. Hite was steadfast in his desire to reimagine an educational system that is informed by and aligned with our region’s projected workforce needs. In his estimation, education must be mapped to the competencies citizens need to thrive. Carol Wilson Pandza agreed, stressing the importance of ensuring that students from Pre-K to career are armed with the emotional intelligence that is needed in the workforce. “Soft skills,” she reminded our audience, “are really hard skills.”

Comcast’s Dalila Wilson-Scott believed that an organization’s community investment must be thoughtful and strategic. She reminded our audience that in working with schools across the continuum it was important to consider outcomes and impact. Truly effective programs, she shared, should be mapped to a strategy with systems impact. President Mergiotti could not agree more. He spoke to the ecosystem of education, community, business, and government saying, “We are all at different points of that continuum and if we lock arms with each other, we can have real impact.”

Another significant point during the breakfast was the opportunity for Peirce College to recognize two outstanding individuals who continue to work hard to bring equality to Philadelphia. TD Bank Senior VP & Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Kelley Cornish, and Nolan Atkinson, Jr., City of Philadelphia Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer both received the 2017 Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Award. Both stressed the importance of employing an equity-based lens as we strive to build stronger communities for our citizens to live, learn and find quality employment.

Empowering Philadelphians


Beyond the panelists and award winners, the event also managed to inspire collaboration and partnership through the energy in the room. Attendees from all over, with diverse backgrounds and expertise, joined us to network and continue the conversation on why education is so crucial for everyone in all aspects of life. Together, we explored how we might harness our brainpower, organizational strengths, and collective resources to continue the push for education – from preschool to career – and find alignment with business, industry, government and community.

Making an Impact Together


Peirce College has been steadfast in reimagining education since we opened our doors 152 years ago. Today, we continue to execute on our imaginative, innovative spirit through our unique delivery platforms including Peirce Fit® and CBE, our customized workforce solutions, our workforce-aligned academic programs and our commitment to social responsibility.

Thank you to all those who joined or sponsored us for this event! We are forever grateful for your commitment to Peirce College’s mission and vision.

If you were unable to attend the event but would like to contribute, please consider investing in our mission here or by texting PEIRCE to 215.987.4482.