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21st Century Skills: A Michigan Perspective

January 21, 2008
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This learning session will focus on the skills that are needed in the workplace today and tomorrow and explore strategies in the school and community to develop these skills. Fellows will learn what employers believe are the essential skills needed in the workplace; possible strategies for utilizing technology in the classroom and in the community to impart needed workplace skills and will gain an increased understanding of the barriers facing students from low-income families in terms of development of theses skills. The session will begin with an interactive activity in which fellows identify their own beliefs regarding workplace skills and share these views with each other in a structured process designed to develop a collective sense of the beliefs of the group as a foundation for further learning on this topic. Presentations by Doug Stites, director of the Capital Area Michigan Works agency and Michael Flowers, Diversity Directory for Human Resources at Sparrow Regional Health Center will discuss the skills most needed from a regional employer point of view. Dr. Stein Brunvand, University of Michigan, will address technology skill needs from the perspective of a postsecondary institution. Finally, Dr. Linda Jackson, Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University will share perspectives from her work with low-income families and describe needs and barriers to providing access to technology and resources to youth from low-income families. The session will close with an informal discussion of the implications from the session for future policy directions.


Learning Team Members

Ricki Chowning, Executive Director, Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan
Jeffrey Dole, Associate Principal, Capital Area Career Center, Ingham ISD
Cynthia M. Heath, Supervisor, Division of Technology & Information Systems, Detroit Public Schools
Jill Kroll, Education Research Consultant, Office of Career & Technical Education, Michigan Department of Education

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

1. Participants will develop an awareness of what they collectively believe to be the skills needed in the 21st century workplace as a foundation for further learning on this topic.
2. Participants will gain perspective regarding what employers believe are the essential skills needed in the workplace.
3. Participants will learn more about the postsecondary perspective on 21st century workplace skills.
4. Participants will become aware of resources to assist them in applying these perspectives in their work place.
5. Participants will become aware of an innovative approach to allow students to apply 21st century skills through a business/school district internship program.


1:00: Introduction Video: “I will steal your car”

Affinity Diagram activity

“Regional Skill Deficit”
Speaker: Doug Stites, Chief Executive Officer
Capital Area Michigan Works

2:05: Break

2:15 “Employer perspective: Skills & Diversity in the workplace
Speaker: Michael Flowers, Director of Workplace Diversity
Sparrow Regional Health Center

“A vision of students today” video

Skills needed for Pre-service teacher and students coming in to college
Speaker: Dr. Stein Brunvand, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology
University of Michigan-Dearborn

3:40 Break

3:50 Resources and Tools for 21st Century Skills

Video: “2 Million Minutes”

Policies as they relate to 21st century skills: What is going on in schools?
21st Century Skills: Reaching economically disadvantaged youth
Speaker: Dr. Linda Jackson
Professor, Department of Psychology
Michigan State University

Where do we go from here?

5:00 Adjourn

Program Resources

Doug Stites, CEO, Capital Area Michigan Works!
Douglas E. Stites, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Area Michigan Works!, one of 25 Michigan Works! Agencies throughout the state. Capital Area Michigan Works! Administers federally and state funded dollars to assist employers in the recruitment, training and assessment of employees and provide workforce development services for the general public in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties through programs, classes and its service centers in Lansing, Charlotte and St. Johns. Capital Area Michigan works! is recognized nationwide as a model workforce development agency. Capital Area Michigan Works! is focused on economic development of the Lansing region and filling the workforce needs of tri-county employers. It is actively involved in educational collaborations to assist students in career development. On the web at Stites began his career in the Eastern Upper Peninsula Employment and Training consortium. In 1991, Stites was appointed executive assistant in the Governor’s Office for Job Training under Governor John Engler. Stites served as COO of the Michigan Jobs Commission, committed to retaining and expanding Michigan businesses, preparing workers for jobs and improving Michigan’s business climate. Prior to joining Capital Area Michigan Works!, Stites served as acting director of the Michigan Department of Career Development, currently the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. Stites was instrumental in bringing Michigan’s workforce development system to national recognition.

Michael E. Flowers, Director of Employment and Diversity for Sparrow Health System, Lansing, MI.
Michael Flowers is currently director of employment and diversity for Sparrow Health System. He is president of the Capital Healthcare and Employment Council (CHEC), and Past President and current Advisory Board Member for the Mid-Michigan Chapter of Labor & Employment Relations Association (LERA) and President of the Board of Directors for Peckham Industries, Inc. He also serves on the Advisory Boards for the Westside YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing, MI, the North West Initiative (NWI) of Lansing, MI and the Greater Lansing Housing Coalition. Flowers is an Adjunct Professor at Lansing Community College (LCC), and has guest lectured at Michigan State University, Olivet College, and Central Michigan University. Flowers has a Masters Degree from Michigan State University in Human Resources and Labor Relations (MHRLR). A Bachelors of Business Administration Degree from Northwood University (BBA) and the designation of Professional in Human Resource management (PHR). He is a native of Lansing, MI., he’s married to Pamela Flowers, and has three daughters, Raven, Brianna and Hayle.

Dr. Stein Brunvand, University of Michigan.
Dr. Stein Brunvand is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He teaches courses in educational technology to pre-service teachers and is interested in effective strategies for integrating technology into all aspects of learning. He has conducted professional development workshops on a range of topics including digital video, podcasting, WebQuests, blogging, website design/creation, Web 2.0 tools and technology integration. Prior to becoming a professor Stein taught elementary school for 6 years at both the third and fifth grade levels.

Dr. Linda A. Jackson, Professor, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University
Dr. Jackson is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology and adjunct professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. She is a research associate with the Media Interface and Networking Design (M.I.N.D.) Laboratory, also at Michigan State University. She is the principal investigator on research projects funded by the National Science Foundation to examine Internet use in the homes of low-income families ( and the nature and extent of children’s use of Information Technology (IT), and how using IT effects children’s cognitive, social, psychological and moral development ( She is co-investigator with the Science of Learning Center (SLC) for the Humanities and Social Sciences ( Dr. Jackson has published extensively, most recently on the topics of children and adolescents and the internet, race, gender and information technology: The new digital divide, and the impact of internet use on academic performance. Dr. Jackson received her Ph.D. in Psychology in 1981, with a major in Social Psychology, from University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching and Science Education from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a Bachelor’s degree in Genetics/Microbiology.

Reflection Questions

How did your views of what skills are needed in the 21st century change as a result of the presentations?

How did the presentations influence your views about what is needed for Michigan to remain competitive in the global economy?

What one thing do you think Michigan is doing right to prepare students for the skills they need?

What one change do you think would be most beneficial for Michigan to improve the preparation of students for success in the global economy?

What one new piece of information did you learn that you think is especially relevant to Michigan education policy?

What will you change in your work or personal life as a result of what you learned today?

What questions are still unanswered?


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The Power of Polling

January 07, 2007
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This session will examine how public policy is shaped by opinion polling, how organizations sample public opinion, and how business and political leaders use this information in the policy debate. Part of the discussion will focus on exit polling and explore how elections can be "called" prior to the polls closing.


Resource Person:

Mr. Ed Sarpolus
Vice President
4710 W. Saginaw
Lansing, MIS
(517) 886-0860

Ed Sarpolus has played a major role in making EPIC/MRA the most quoted source of survey research in Michigan, as well as a regularly quoted source by national media outlets and publications, particularly on issues of international trade. Major clients include the Detroit Free Press with more than 600,000 daily readers, the Lansing State Journal, Oakland Press, the Flint Journal, as well as most television news outlets in Michigan, including WXYZ- ABC TV-7 in Detroit, ABC TV-12 in Flint, WOOD TV-8 in Grand Rapids, TV-5 in Saginaw, WLNS TV-6 in Lansing and WILX TV-10, also in Lansing. Election day exit polling conducted by EPIC/MRA is not only covered by print media clients, but television coverage of election day survey results covers more than three quarters of Michigan's viewing audience. Other EPIC/MRA research on major topics of public interest, as well as election polling results, are regularly covered not only by Michigan media outlets, but also by national outlets. Sarpolus has appeared as a commentator on PBS, CNN World News, Inside Politics-CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, ABC and NBC News. Sarpolus has also been regularly interviewed by Michigan radio stations and NPR, quoted in most major national publications including Time, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe and the National Journal. EPIC/MRA research results and commentary by Sarpolus has also been a regular contributor to the Polling Report, The Hotline, and Congress Daily. Finally, because of his extensive experience on trade issues, Sarpolus has been a featured speaker for groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations and Consumers for World Trade.


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Leading & Learning: Developing Learning Teams

December 10, 2006
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This session is designed to support the development of the 2007-08 EPFP Learning Teams.  The 2007 Leadership Forum will provide substantial background information, inspiration and resource materials to support the development of this year's Learning Teams. This is an opportunity for the Fellows to coalesce on proposed topics and make key decisions on Learning Team membership, roles, resources and dates.


Resource Persons:

Fellows and Coordinators

Resource Materials:

Learning Team Information

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The Role of Think Tanks & Policy Centers

November 19, 2007
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

During the first part of this session we will explore how public policy is shaped by think tanks and other organizations which work at the intersection of research, policy and politics. We will examine the work of both public and private sector organizations and analyze how their reports, studies and information are used by business and political leaders in the policy debate.  The second topic is designed to advance the development of this year's EPFP Learning Teams.


Session A Resource Persons:

Mr. Joseph G. Lehman
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
140 West Main Street
P.O. Box 568
Midland, Michigan 48640
(989) 631-0900

Joseph G. Lehman is executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an independent, nonprofit research and educational institute. He oversees research, strategic planning, and operations.  Mr. Lehman joined the staff in 1995 to direct the Mackinac Center’s publications and media outreach. He later became vice president for communications at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2000 he returned to the Mackinac Center as its executive vice president.  Mr. Lehman is the author of numerous public policy articles and is a commentator on free-market policies. His remarks have been broadcast by National Public Radio and published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Journal, National Review, Investor's Business Daily, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, and nearly every daily Michigan newspaper.  He has addressed audiences at the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting, the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Mackinac Conference, the African Leadership Conference in Nairobi, and the Asian Resource Bank meeting in Hong Kong.  Through the Mackinac Center's biannual Leadership Conference, he has trained more than 400 think tank executives from 44 states and 35 countries in strategic planning, communications, and fundraising.  He is a director of the Chicago-based Sam Adams Foundation, the Legislative Education Action Drive Foundation which studies school choice, and USA Votes, a firm that provides public access to legislative data.  Prior to his public policy career, Mr. Lehman was an engineer and project manager for nine years at the Dow Chemical Company. He is an engineering graduate from the University of Illinois and a registered professional engineer.

Mr. Earl Ryan 
Citizens Research Council of Michigan
38777 Six Mile Road, Suite 208
Livonia, MI 48152-2660
(734) 542-8001

Earl M. Ryan became the fifth president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan in November 1994.  He had been the first president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, which he headed from 1987 to 1994.  Prior to that, he was president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (1984-87). Mr. Ryan began his career with CRC in 1967 in its Lansing office.  From 1970 to 1977, he worked in program evaluation for the State of Michigan, both for the executive branch and the legislature.  He returned to CRC in 1977, becoming research director in 1979. From 1985 to 1986, he was president of the Governmental Research Association, the association of organizations across the nation similar to CRC.  In 1991, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Graduate Program in Public Administration, Department of Political Science, Wayne State University. Mr. Ryan was born in Michigan and received degrees in political science from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Ms. Ann Marie Schneider, M.S.
Director of Program Planning & Development
Institute for Public Policy & Social Research
312B Berkey Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI  48823
(517) 353-1738

AnnMarie Schneider is director of programming, planning and development for the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR)at Michigan State University. The Institute connects academic and policymaking communities through applied and survey research, public policy education and political leadership training. Ms. Schneider is responsible for creation of public policy initiatives, including educational programs and publications. She advises and implements communications and marketing strategies for IPPSR-sponsored special programs, including the Legislative Leadership Program, the annual Forum Series, and the Urban Research Interest Group, among others. In addition, she administrates Michigan Applied Policy Research Grants and helps spearhead business development for the signature State of the State Survey conducted by IPPSR’s Office for Survey Research. Ms. Schneider has more than 20 years experience in communications, public policy and government relations, focusing on forging expanded awareness and understanding of public policy within local, state and national arenas. Prior to her work at IPPSR, she directed communications, public education and outreach efforts for numerous state departments including Commerce, Natural Resources, Social Services, the Cabinet Council on Human Investment and the Governor's Office.  She has also worked with several professional associations. She earned her B.A. from Bellarmine University and an M.S. in Speech and Communication from the University of Louisville.

Mr. Jeff Williams (EPFP 1997-98)
Vice President for Technology & Public Policy
Public Sector Consultants
600 W. Saint Joseph St. Suite 10
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 484-4954

Jeff Williams is senior vice president for technology and public policy at Public Sector Consultants. He advises the firm’s clients on technology issues and supervises the firm's internal and external information services and staff. Mr. Williams also conducts research and analysis on health policy and education issues and supervises PSC’s public opinion and stakeholder survey research. He has been with the firm since 1991, serving first as an administrative assistant for survey research, then technology consultant, and then senior consultant.  Prior to joining PSC, Mr. Williams was a program officer at the Midwestern Higher Education Commission. While at the commission, he provided staff support to the Telecommunications Committee and assisted with management of a nine-state, $18-million distance learning/interactive video equipment purchase program. He also provided staff support to the commission's Risk Management and Academic Course Scheduling Committees.  Mr. Williams completed an undergraduate degree with honors in international relations from Michigan State University. He holds a master’s degree in technology and public affairs from the University of Minnesota and is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Session B: Establishing Learning Teams

Resource Persons: Coordinators and Fellows

During the 2007-08 program year the Michigan Fellows will participate on one or more Learning Teams and gain experience working in a virtual learning community. The Learning Teams will be responsible for planning a series of future EPFP sessions on a set of topics which have been identified by this year's participants. During this session the Fellows will review and refine the set of proposed topics identified to date, establish diverse cross boundary teams, and develop strategies for effective team participation. Additional Learning Team Information has been posted here.

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Establishing a Policy Framework

November 5, 2007
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This Seminar will focus on a set of concepts and strategies for creating a policy framework. Fellows will explore both the practical and theoretical aspects of how public policy is developed and implemented. Several policy issues of current concern to Michigan citizens will also be examined.


Resource Person:

David C. Hollister
President & CEO
1614 E. Kalamazoo
Lansing MI  48912
(517) 999-3382




David C. Hollister is President & CEO of Prima Civitas Foundation, a new nonprofit organization based in Lansing, that aims at taking a regional approach to boosting Michigan's economy. The organization is focusing on the promotion of four different industries that present job opportunities for area residents.  Those include life sciences, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy and homeland security.

Mayor Hollister was appointed as Director of the Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services in January 2003 by Governor Jennifer M.Granholm. On December 8, 2003, CIS joined with the Michigan Department of Career Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Michigan Broadband Development Authority to form the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.  Under Mayor Hollister's leadership, this new department addressed labor, economic growth, and urban development issues in the State of Michigan.

Mayor Hollister has dedicated his entire life to public service. He began his career as a high school teacher in the 1960s after graduating with honors from Michigan State University. His political career began during his tenure as a teacher in the Lansing Public Schools, when he was elected in 1968 as an Ingham County Commissioner, serving through 1974.  In 1974, Mayor Hollister launched a successful campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served until 1993. He quickly became recognized as one of the top ten legislators, serving on the powerful Appropriations Committee for 16 years and chairing the Appropriations Subcommittee on Social Services for over a decade.

In 1993, Mayor Hollister ran a successful campaign for Mayor of the City of Lansing and was re-elected to his third term in a landslide victory in November 2001. Hollister's successes as Mayor included over $2.9 billion in investments, including building a new regional transportation center downtown, bringing minor league baseball to Lansing, and striking a partnership with the State of Michigan that includes new buildings for the Legislature, the Supreme Court, and various other departments. Regional partnerships were created with local governments to enable location of a major insurance company’s corporate world headquarters in Lansing and development of a new golf course and upscale housing development. One of the Mayor's most exciting successes was the commitment by General Motors to consolidate operations and build two new state-of-the-art assembly plants in Lansing.

Mr. Hollister has been a presenter to the Michigan EPFP Fellows for the past 22 years and he is consistently rated as one of our most popular and important policy resources. He was awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership's National Leadership Award at the 2000 Michigan EPFP Alumni Seminar.

Fellows should refer to the Michigan EPFP 'Links and Publications' page to review David Hollister's WebBook, "On Organizing" for additional resource material.  In addition, please review the November 7, 2001, Lansing City Pulse article and interview with David Hollister, and the September 2006 Greater Lansing Business Monthly article.

Fellows should also see David Hollister's "Public Policy Primer" published in June 2007 by IEL and The Michigan EPFP.


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