October 29, 2020 – The HSEM Center of Excellence hosted the first-ever “Virtual Site Review” by the State Board for Community and Technical College (SBCTC). Each Center is visited once in a three-year cycle to learn how the Center is currently working to understand and improve the relationship between their industry sector and the community and technical colleges. The State Board staff convenes the review team for each site visit and this year’s visits were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and it was decided to do the normal in-person visit virtually. Our Center was the first to pilot this process.
Centers are a key for meeting the SBCTC system’s goals around economic demand and innovation. Centers are housed on separate college campuses and are charged with continually narrowing the gap between employers’ workforce demand and our colleges’ supply of work-ready graduates with the Center’s industry sector. Pierce College President, Dr. Julie White and Vice President of Workforce, Economic and Professional Development, Jo Anne Baria were part of the site review, where SBCTC’s workforce policy staff representatives, two representatives from the Workforce Education Council (WEC), along with a representative from the Instruction Commission made up the review team. The review process involved a presentation from the Director and three concurrent breakout sessions with HSEM Center advisory board members, college administration, and Center staff.
The WEC representatives were Herman Calzadillas from Everett Community College and Jaclyn Jacot from Spokane Colleges, and Dr. Steven Thomas from Peninsula College representing Instruction Commission. Our Advisory Board was represented by our Co-Chair Curry Mayer, Director for the Emergency Management City of Bellevue; Shane Moore, Catastrophic Planner, Emergency Management Division Washington Military Department; Lorraine Churchill, Emergency Manager, Ammonia Safety & Training Institute; Lit Dudley, Region Emergency Manager, WA State Dept. of Transportation and Darren Linker, Director, Occupational Safety & Health / Emergency Management, Edmonds College / Pierce College.
The review team is provided with the current year’s work plan and quarterly updates, the core expectations for the Centers, the Director’s Presentation prompt, a set of suggested conversation starters, and the final report from the most recent review. For this site review, we provided a presentation that included five animations that went over core purposes and focused on our engagement and alignment with the CTC system and industry sector, along with our outstanding practices, collaboration among Centers of Excellence, and work in diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Review Team held a private debrief session where they discussed what they had learned from the Director’s presentation and breakout sessions. After the debrief, we reconvened for a brief report out of the Review Team’s commendations and recommendations. SBCTC Policy Associate, Peter Guzman, said that the Site Review went very well, and our final report will include:
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – They liked how our initiative/activity aligns with the SBCTC and Pierce College’s mission/goals.
- Impressed with the digital innovation – reaching out through animations, podcasts, Confluence (newsmagazine), our digital literacy, and digital innovation.
- Strong relationships – With the College, Advisory Board, and staff. Relationships feel authentic and not surface. Very in-depth.
- Stay the course with EDI work – keeping working towards that goal. Broaden diversity within Advisory Board and staff/hiring.
- Encourage industry on EM services – Common language/understanding within the field. Commonality language in job description and education.
- Finalize common course for CJ – This recommendation will be modified as Linda clarified with the site review team the current status of the CJ common course initiative and the setbacks that have occurred from workforce councils and pro-tech councils in regards to common course numbering.
We thank the Review Team, Pierce College Administration, and our Advisory Board Members, and our staff for their contributions to our successful Virtual Site Review.