Day One Program Details

This year’s Annual Workforce Summit will take place virtually November 17-19. Our programming will include expanded educational offerings, keynote presentations, networking forums, and even a bit of social time.

Almost two dozen concurrent sessions will be offered in the following tracks:

  • Managing Workforce Development and Workforce Planning
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Training and Skill Development for Our Future Workforce
  • Workforce Development Outside the HR Suite
  • Staying One Step Ahead of the Changing Workplace Culture

Tuesday, November 17


Registration and Help Desk


Networking Lounge: Coffee and Conversation

Join the program early to connect with colleagues and poke around on the virtual platform.


Opening General Session: How Other Business Sectors are Addressing Their Workforce Development Needs

This session will bring representatives together from industries including construction, manufacturing, and hospitality to showcase how businesses in these sectors have approached their workforce development needs in collaborative and innovative ways. Industry-wide scholarships, national partnerships to fuel talent pipelines, substantial initiatives in under-served communities, and other creative initiatives offer examples of ways the energy industry can work more closely together to bring awareness of 21st Century clean energy careers.  Presenters: Carolyn Lee, National Association of Manufacturers; Tadar Muhammad, Home Builders Institute; Rosanna Maietta, American Hotel and Lodging Foundation.


Concurrent Sessions

  • After the Statements: What Actions Have Been Taken Following Issuance of Statements Against Systemic Racism?

    Many companies issued statements against systemic racism in June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. By the Annual Summit, it will be six months later. What’s happened? What “walk” have companies done to support the “talk”? Presenters: Joyce Cooper, Omaha Public Power District, OPPD, Sloane Drake, Southern Company, Lauren Brooks, Mears.

  • Making Workforce Planning an Industry and Corporate Priority

    This session, led by Kimbertly Jones, author of the Strategic Workforce Planning, a certified Strategic Workforce Planner (SWP), SHRM recommended presenter, and strategic workforce planner for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will begin the program with a review of why workforce planning is critical. He will address the methodology necessary to reshape the mindset of the business paradigm to secure C-Suite buy-in to the importance of workforce planning. He will address the importance of linking workforce planning to corporate strategic plans and budget alignment and connecting all workforce planning decisions to data and analytics. Presenter: Kimbertly Jones, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Effective Messaging About Trade Jobs and Industry Opportunities

    What messaging about trade jobs is most impactful when trying to educate students (and their parents) and career seekers? What resonates most when talking about learning and earning potential and overall career satisfaction? What messaging about industry careers is most impactful and drives men and women to pursue employment? This session will explore what messaging has been proven and validated through research to be most effective in promoting careers in the trades. Presenter: Jason Burns, Generation T.

  • Lessons in Leadership

    We have all undoubtedly learned a lot about ourselves during the pandemic and a lot of lessons about leadership. For most of us, there are days we want to pat ourselves on the back and say, “great job” while other days it feels like it might have been better to stay under the covers! This panel of industry leaders will talk about how they have led differently since March 2020 and explore their ups and downs, lessons learned, and moments of reflective change for personal and corporate leadership. Presenters: Vivek Arora, Quanta; John Bruckner, National Grid; Pat Whiteside, Nicor Gas.




General Session: The Future of Work: From Board and C-Suite Expectations to Strategy Execution

This session will begin with representatives from McKinsey sharing perspectives gleaned from new global research that explores what boards and C-Suite leaders are prioritizing in regard to Future of Work narratives – what has been the most critical focus and what is being reprioritized in relation to watershed events of 2020. They will address what changes utilities and other sectors are making in response to these expectations and what operating models are expected to look like as we move forward. Keith Hutchison, of National Grid will offer perspective from what his company is doing and how they are putting some of these considerations into action. Presenters: Brooke Weddle and Mengwei Luo, McKinsey; Keith Hutchison, National Grid.




Concurrent Sessions

  • Lessons Learned: What Our Industry Did to Become More Diverse

    While society has recently brought increased attention to the critical importance of workplace diversity, many industries have been tackling real or perceived barriers to employment for years. The National Association of Manufacturers and the Associated General Contractors have been leaders in this area, working with industry stakeholders on cultural, operational, and image changes to attract a talent base that better reflects America. Presenters: Carolyn Lee, Manufacturing Institute; Mike Bellman, Associated General Contractors.

  • Follow the Money: Understanding Workforce Development Policy

    This session, especially for policy experts and workforce development strategists, will illustrate how federal dollars, especially those through WIOWA and Perkins V, are channeled to local communities for workforce development efforts, and what companies and consortia can do to leverage those resources. This session is a “must attend” for those looking to build and expand workforce initiatives in their companies and communities. Presenter: Jan Bray, National Association of Workforce Boards.

  • Technical Training in a Virtual World

    This session will respond to the questions at the top of everyone’s mind about how training for a safety focused industry can be done in a virtual world – for instance, what about grading tests, administering training, ILT vs virtual, remaining compliant, etc. 

  • What in the World Has Happened to our Culture?

    This session will focus on innovative ways companies are addressing their new work environments and keeping their culture alive, or are they shifting their culture? Presenters: Darius Johnson, Dominion Energy; Mart Sedky, Omaha Public Power District.


General Session: Solving Generational Challenges to Drive Workplace Performance: New Insights and Specific Actions You Can Use Right Away

Sponsored by the American Gas Association and the Distribution Contractors Association

Jason Dorsey is one of the most sought-after generational keynote speakers in the country. He combines his unexpected research discoveries, frontline stories, and trademark high energy with how-to actions that drive results. This presentation offers data-driven findings to guide leaders in unlocking each generation’s potential, encouraging new ways of thinking about communicating, managing, and influencing – factors that can help with better engagement and ultimately, better retention among those newest to the industry. Jason has led more than 65 research studies, appeared on over 200 TV shows from 60 Minutes to The Today Show. His specialty is solving generational workforce problems in times of change, challenge, and uncertainty. Presenter: Jason Dorsey.


Networking Lounge: Cocktails and Conversation


Optional Event – TRIVIA NIGHT (Bring the family!)

Registration for this complimentary evening of fun will be sent to all registered attendees in advance of the Summit. It is preferable to have two electronic devices to play. Other than that, you will just need a team name and the spirit of fun competition!


  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Managing Workforce Development and Workforce Planning
  • Training and Skill Development for Our Future Workforce
  • Workforce Development Outside the HR Suite
  • Staying One Step Ahead of the Changing Workplace Culture


*CEWD reserves the right to change or alter the program schedule.