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Conference Schedule At a Glance

Times and events are preliminary and subject to change. Review session and event activity descriptions below.

Wednesday, May 18

Attendee Arrivals

7:00 - 8:00 PM: Registration Open

Thursday, May 19

7:00 - 9:30 AM: Breakfast Buffet Open

8:30 - 9:30 AM: Registration Open

9:30 - 9:40AM: President's Welcome

9:40 - 10:40 AM: *Opening Keynote*: Workforce Development - Joe Rollins, NWA Council 

10:40 - 11:00 AM: Break
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM:
Connecting Core Competencies, Digital Credentials, and Employer Assessments to Validate Student Career Readiness -  Ron Orick, University Recruiting Consultant (Ron Orick Consulting LLC)
12:00 - 1:00 PM: Lunch & Roundtable Discussions 

1:00 - 2:00 PM: To Internships (Infinity) and Beyond! - Kylia Stewart, Arkansas Tech University
2:00 - 3:00PM: Interview Event Innovations - Margot Purdy, University of Arkansas
3:15 - 4:30PM: Activity (optional)
5:00 - 6:30PM: Dinner & Awards Ceremony
7:00 PM - Until: 80's Night Party!

Friday, May 20

7:00 - 9:30 AM: Breakfast Buffet Open

9:30 - 10:30 AM: Business Meeting
10:30 - 11:30 AM: *Closing Keynote* 2022 DEI Employer Trends - 
Jackie Lawrence, J.B. Hunt
11:30 AM: Wrap Up

Session Topics:

*Opening Keynote* Workforce Development - Joe Rollins, Workforce Development Director, Northwest Arkansas Council

The availability of skilled talent (and ability to attract more) is the top factor for businesses today as they determine where to invest. We know developing talent starts early and involves collaboration with parents, educators, businesses, and community and state leaders. The Northwest Arkansas Council ensures that there are sufficient education and training opportunities available to support our workforce. Businesses across our region seek talent with a wide range of skills and, in some cases, require their current workforce to acquire new expertise. The key objective of our workforce development efforts is to transform the region’s workforce system into a best-of-class, demand-driven workforce model to increase the supply of appropriately skilled labor.

Connecting Core Competencies, Digital Credentials, and Employer Assessments to Validate Student Career Readiness -  Ron Orick, University Recruiting Consultant, Ron Orick Consulting LLC

This session will include a description of the Career Readiness program developed by Ron Orick while serving as the Director of Career Services at UAFS. This program utilized the NACE Competencies to develop an intern assessment in which employers can evaluate and validate the essential career readiness skills and also award digital credentials to interns based on their actual work performance. A differentiating factor in this program was the employer assessment of the career readiness skills, which is valued by other employers and can be used by students in their job search.

To Internships (Infinity) and Beyond! - Kylia Stewart, Employer Relations Coordinator, Arkansas Tech University 

Are internships being utilized by your students? Let's learn about the types and benefits of multiple internship options available. We will also cover the importance of an internship program from the employers point of view and how to encourage faculty to make internships part of curriculum requirements.

Interview Event Innovations - Margot Purdy, Engineering Co-Op & Career Events Coordinator, University of Arkansas

In this session, participants will learn how to convert both large and small-scale career & recruitment events into a seamless, easy-to-use virtual option. Using the example of a highly successful, weeklong mock interview event involving over 600 first-year engineering students and employer partners, Margot Purdy will share innovative best practices for managing virtual interview and recruitment events that are both scalable and affordable.

*Closing Keynote* 2022 DEI Employer Trends - Jackie Lawrence, Director of Inclusion Strategy, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

This session covers the DEI topics important to J.B. Hunt's strategy and highlights topics that career centers can integrate into their own practices to enable student success while exploring the roles all of us play in ensuring success in the DEI space. Attendees will walk away with tangible go-do's for preparing students for success in corporate cultures.

Lunch Roundtable Topics:

- Student Engagement (from virtual to in-person)

- Changing Recruiting Practices

- Strategic Planning & Assessment

- Assessment & the New Baseline

- Work Life Balance

Group Activity & 80's Night Information:

Group activity sign up here. Participation is optional. Activities will begin at 3:30 and will last approximately one hour. All activities are subject to cancellation in the event of low sign-ups. 

Submit your 80's song requests here. AACE was established in the 80's and we want to celebrate with you! Come dressed in your 80's best. 


Allison Nicholas, AACE President PO Box 45, Little Rock, AR 72203 │ 

Phone: (501) 269-4119

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