WELL Center

The WELL Center promotes the development of a workforce that honors the human dignity of all individuals and works with students to enhance their personal brand and employment readiness. The center is led by Eugene Wilkerson, Associate Professor, who spent 15 years in the private sector working for a Fortune Top 50 organization in human resource management and leadership development. Wilkerson continues to pursue an interdisciplinary research agenda that focuses on business education and human capital development.

Mission

The Center for Workforce Employment and Lifelong Learning promotes the development of a workforce that honors the human dignity of all individuals.

Today’s workforce is changing dramatically. In the United States demographic shifts have created tremendous opportunities for employers to leverage the rich and diverse population to seed innovation and productivity in their organizations; however, at times employers are slow to embrace change. There is an urgent need to develop organizational capacity and appropriately value a diverse and balanced workplace.

Millennials are entering the workforce with skill sets that are different from the baby boomers who have led the organization for decades. For example, younger workers communicate through their technological expertise, yet they are accustomed to receiving frequent feedback on their job performance from managers. Those same managers are not as tech savvy and expect their employees to have the critical thinking skills to solve problems on their own. These starkly different skill sets threaten to limit innovation and decrease productivity in the workplace by limiting two-way communication.

Technology and a global economy are changing the way organizations approach their definition of a work environment. Today’s employees can work in teams, complete training and socialize with colleagues around the work from their home office. Organizations must develop innovative methods for maintaining their organizational culture and developing workforce capacity while simultaneously taking advantage of the innovative workplace thinking.

Workforce development at the societal level contemplates the policy initiatives that expand the opportunity to work. The workplace is more than an opportunity to acquire economic means to sustain life. It provides a place for socialization, belonging, and self-actualization. For many communities such as the homeless or veterans returning from war, work is a challenge. Our society needs to continue to seek solutions for underserved populations through policies and research to expand our reach to those who are less fortunate.

For the near future, our society must engage in long term education planning to grow a 21st Century Workforce. Society must embrace the notion of education as a lifelong endeavor that requires strategic planning on the part of higher education institutions, employers, as well as local, state and national governments. The WELL Center serves as a nexus through which these stakeholders will collaborate to inform the Workforce of Future. The Center will works students in the College of Business and Economics to create experiential learning opportunities that will have a global impact. We work with stakeholders in the for-profit, government and nonprofit sectors to create workforce development opportunities throughout the Front Range and to impact policies across the United States.

Vision

The Center for Workforce Employment and Lifelong Learning builds on the tradition of Jesuit leadership and service and our desire to care for the whole person in the pursuit of education, research and outreach that enhances the 21st Century Workforce. The Center works with business school students to enhance their personal branding and employment readiness. The Center works with external partners to enhance workforce capacity through various education initiatives.