Preparing America’s Workforce for the Future Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Globally, rapid and dramatic technological, demographic, and economic changes present the nation with enormous challenges for preparing the workforce for the 21st century. These changes are influencing all walks of life – from education and commerce to the delivery of healthcare and social services – and will have a profound, wide-ranging impact on careers of the future. Colleges and universities, employers, and career services professionals all play essential roles in responding to these changes. What strategies and best practices can they use – working in partnership – to adapt to and embrace rapid change in order to “breed success” and ensure effective workforce development throughout all segments of the nation’s population? Moreover, what will students need to know in order to succeed academically and in tomorrow’s marketplace, and what skills and values must they possess? Answers to these questions will substantially influence the capabilities and effectiveness of the workforce, the productivity of our public and private sectors, and, ultimately, America’s global competitiveness in the first part of the 21st century.
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has served as President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since May, 1992. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that recently produced the report, “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads.”
In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which in both 2009 and 2010 ranked UMBC the #1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation and among the top colleges and universities in the nation for commitment to undergraduate teaching. In 2009, Time magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents.
He serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally. He also serves on the boards of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Chair), and The Urban Institute. He also sits on the boards of Constellation Energy Group, McCormick & Company, and the Baltimore Equitable Society. He is a past member of the board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Maryland Humanities Council (member and Chair).
With philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, he co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program in 1988. The program is open to all high-achieving students committed to pursuing advanced degrees and research careers in science and engineering, and advancing minorities in these fields. The program has become a national model, and based on program outcomes, Hrabowski has authored numerous articles and co-authored two books, Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds (Oxford University Press), focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science. Both books are used by universities, school systems, and community groups around the country.
Born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Hrabowski graduated at 19 from Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received his M.A. (mathematics) and four years later his Ph.D. (higher education administration/statistics) at age 24.