BHEF Winter 2024 Member Meeting: Preparing NextGen Talent

Monday, March 4, 2024 to Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Miami, FL

The widespread use of AI is changing the composition of jobs, impacting industries and occupations as roles are being replaced, altered, or created. BHEF’s Winter 2024 Member Meeting will facilitate a real-time understanding regarding the ongoing shifts that AI is having and is anticipated to have on the DNA of competencies and skills. Participants will hear national and regional perspectives about emerging supply and demand dynamics and discuss opportunities to proactively respond to the changing workforce.

The meeting is designed to grapple with the following critical questions:

  • What does the latest research tell us about the impact of AI across occupations and industries? Which are being most disrupted by AI and what are the resulting AI-related skills employers and workers will need?
  • How are employers across industries responding to define and identify AI talent? What are the implications for key needs including skills signaling, credentialing, upskilling, and reskilling?
  • What are the risks to learners and workers from how AI is shaping the skills needed for economic success? What strategies can institutions and businesses put in place to mitigate this risk?
  • In an environment where rapid, interdisciplinary curricular innovation is important, how can partnerships across business and education anticipate and respond to demand for talent in AI and other emerging technologies?
  • What are the critical information gaps that BHEF can fill to support business and education leaders and issue thought leadership for the field?

Monday, March 4, 2024: Member-Only Event

10:30 a.m.     
Registration Opens for BHEF Members

11:00 a.m.    
BHEF Members Only: CEO and Board Chair Welcome
During this session, Kristen Fox, BHEF’s new CEO, and Tim Sands, BHEF board chair and president of Virginia Tech, will share their vision for BHEF’s growth and impact and will invite dialogue with members.

Monday, March 4, 2024: All Attendees

11:00 a.m.        
Registration Opens for All Attendees 

12:00 p.m.    
Welcome Lunch and Plenary Session
The Latest Research on Emerging AI Trends and the Impact on the Workforce

  • Madeline Pumariega, President, Miami Dade College
  • Kristen Fox, CEO, Business-Higher Education Forum
  • Carlo Salerno, Managing Director, Education Insights, Burning Glass Institute

1:30 p.m.    
AI Talent Readiness: Employer Needs, Strategies, and Challenges 
Everyone needs AI talent; however, a considerable gap has emerged as companies are at early stages of identifying what kind of AI talent and skills are needed throughout their workforce. Many companies are still in a phase of discerning where and how AI can make a difference in their operations. In this panel, employers will discuss AI-talent trends within their industry; the pressing talent acquisition, upskilling, and reskilling questions they are grappling with; and how they are preparing their workforces for AI disruption. 

Session Outcomes:

  • Increase understanding of current and near term (1-3 years) AI needs in different industries and companies
  • Discuss trends related to AI talent acquisition and upskilling efforts across industries and the occupations and skill sets that are in demand
  • Identify gaps that exist in AI talent demand and the challenges that employers are facing as they work to actively pursue and integrate AI talent and skills into their workforce

Moderator: Madeline Pumariega, President, Miami Dade College

  • Ken Finneran, Vice President Human Resources, eMed Digital Healthcare
  • Michael Fowler, Vice President of IT, Florida Power and Light Company

2:45 p.m.    
Coffee Break

3:00 p.m.    

How Can AI Enable Opportunity in Learning and Work? 
In the workplace and in higher education, AI has the potential to democratize access to information and enable humans to focus on higher tasks, but it also has the power to exacerbate economic disparity. What can business and higher education do to proactively equip the current and future workforce for an AI-enabled future? Speakers will consider what it means to design learning, hiring, and training experiences with AI in ways that harness the positive potential for learners and workers while mitigating negative consequences.

Session Outcomes:

  • Gain insight into how AI is changing which digital literacy skills are needed 
  • Learn about challenges and risks associated with AI and how to proactively address them
  • Ideate ways in which business and higher education can better support students for the workforce of the future
  • Identify research gaps for business and education 

Moderator: Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce

  • Phaedra Boinodiris, Global Leader for Trustworthy AI, IBM
  • Kristina Francis, Executive Director, JFF Labs
  • Paula Gallego, Student, Miami Dade College

4:15 p.m.    
Furthering our Impact: New BHEF Initiatives
BHEF recently received grants from the ECMC Foundation for a Faculty Innovation Fellowship and from the Strada Education Network for research on employer perspectives on work-based learning. BHEF Chief Program Officer Jennifer Thornton will share more about these initiatives, the key questions we will be addressing through them in support of members and the field, and highlight how BHEF members can shape and benefit from this work.

Speaker: Jennifer Thornton, Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer, Business-Higher Education Forum

4:30 p.m.    
Board Chair’s Reception

6:00 p.m.    
Board Chair’s Dinner  


Tuesday, March 5, 2024: All Attendees

8:00 a.m.     
Registration Opens and Networking Breakfast
9:00 a.m.    
Welcoming Remarks
Speaker: Kristen Fox, CEO, Business-Higher Education Forum 

9:05 a.m.    
Table Talks on Emerging Issues

In response to BHEF members’ requests for time to address emerging issues in small groups, these table talks will address the following topics:

  1. Leveraging Federal Investments in Growing Industries: How can BHEF and its members leverage federal funding to close skill and talent gaps in high-demand occupations and sectors?
  2. Illuminating Models for Clearer Skill Signaling: In the era of skills-based hiring, how do we create better mechanisms and approaches for employers to signal which skills are in-demand, and how does higher education and its learners signal skills achievement?
  3. Democratization of AI Skill Learning: The instructional resources capable of teaching cutting edge, practical AI skills are scarce and concentrated in a few “elite” colleges and companies. The result is that the majority of underserved students do not have easy access to learn these skills. How can we address this challenge?

Contact to submit additional topics. 

10:05 a.m.     
Coffee Break

10:20 a.m.    

Curricular Innovations to Address Emerging Technologies
Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Business and higher education leaders are learning about and adopting these emerging technologies at the same time. To become responsive to employer needs in areas like AI, higher education institutions need to build flexibility in curricula and capacity to prepare for change before technologies impact employer operations and talent needs. Higher education leaders will share how they’ve developed innovative programs in response to emerging technologies, what challenges they faced, where and how partnerships have accelerated their success, and how they’ve worked with employers and faculty to create buy-in.

Session Outcomes:

  • Highlight ways that institutions are building flexibility and capacity within their curricular frameworks to adapt to changes driven by emerging technologies
  • Identify how partnerships can support rapid skills identification, implementation, and sustainable programs
  • Identify ways that BHEF can support members and the field in addressing challenges to curricular innovation

Moderator: Timothy D. Sands, President, Virginia Tech


  • Margaret Angell, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Roux Institute, Northeastern University
  • Antonio Delgado, Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships, Miami Dade College 
  • Jim Garrett, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Joe Glover, Advisor to the President, University of Florida

11:30 a.m.        
Next Steps and Opportunities for BHEF
Attendees will reflect on learnings from the day and consider plans and aspirations for BHEF. Key questions include:

  • Where can BHEF work to support members in advancing next-generation talent and addressing shared challenges?
  • What are the industries, occupations, and skills that are most critical for us to focus on?
  • What open questions, barriers, or information gaps should BHEF pursue for the benefit of members and the field?

12:15 p.m.    
Networking Lunch 

1:15 p.m.        
Closing Remarks and Meeting Adjournment