During the past year, Seton Hill College was selected as one of only two colleges statewide to host The Keystone Commission on Education for Employment in the 21st Century, a panel of state legislators assembled to identify ways Pennsylvania can produce and retain qualified workers.
In an effort to make the commonwealth competitive for small businesses, the panel determined employers must take the lead in developing a work force that is the envy of the nation. Testimony from educators and business owners focused on the need for the next generation of employees to possess key attributes as the work force evolves — a commitment to lifelong learning and the ability to expand entrepreneurial skills, such as flexibility, adaptability, problem solving, risk-taking and leadership.
Forty years ago, the average tenure of an employee was 23 years; today, most use their current position as a stepping stone, only staying at a job for 3.6 years. Addressing business leaders in Pittsburgh last year, Jeff Taylor, CEO of Monster.com, predicted the No. 1 challenge firms will face over the next five years is recruiting and retaining skilled employees.
Balancing work and home has always been a challenge for women entrepreneurs, and with the influx of technology designed to make us more connected, we constantly juggle to develop leadership professionally and personally. This year, The Center has brought together an impressive panel of national and regional experts to address these concerns, as well as attemptto help us find flexibility and balance in the 24/7 world.
In coming together as a community of lifelong learners, I ask you to join me in making a commitment to women entrepreneurs to ensure Pennsylvania stays competitive as a business leader. To achieve this, we must broaden our networks, serve as role models and mentors, and remain vocal when addressing the business needs of women.
We hope this conference will generate creative ideas and new methods of thinking as you grow your own world-class business. The more successful women entrepreneurs become, the greater the success of Pennsylvania.
Thank you for taking part in this world-class experience. My staff and I hope you find the day rewarding and exhilarating.
Barbara K. Mistick
Seton Hill College’s National Education Center for Women in Business