DDEC joins industries, academia to promote talent dev’t in Puerto Rico
Academics and leaders of different educational institutions, as well as representatives of several business and government sectors drew up joint plans that will result in the development of the workforce and increase the competitiveness of Puerto Rico as an investment destination.
The strategy was part of the “Academy Meets the Industry” roundtable at the General Studies Amphitheater of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus.
“We organized this activity to share knowledge, bring solutions and join efforts aimed at aligning the academy with what the industry is seeing, so that we modernize our educational system, and allow us to keep up with global trends,” DDEC Secretary Manuel Cidre said.
“We must have a workforce that is consistent with the present and future demand of the industries that we have today in Puerto Rico, and those that we aspire to have in the future. To achieve this, it is essential to work initiatives in combination with the academy and the business sector, who know on a day-to-day basis the needs of industries and the educational opportunities that can be forged to close existing gaps, modifying, updating, or creating new curriculums, as many institutions have already done,” he said.
The activity featured several panelists, who discussed topics such as: Beyond technology; What are the skills that will differentiate us in a digital world; How talent needs have changed in the bioscience industry; A look at the future of the tourism industry; and How are academic and the educational centers adjusting to the needs of the industries?
Acting Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos said that the academia is of great benefit to the agency, at times when they are working to strengthen the technological area.
“It is definitely a great opportunity for Education to continue looking for alternatives aimed at merging the academic area with technological advances,” he said.
“Our students are technological, and we must take advantage of that strength to educate from other perspectives that are attractive to them,” said Ramos. “At the Education Department we’re in a constant evolution studying each school community to provide a sustainable educational alternative with its different needs and characteristics. Joint efforts like this help us fulfill one of the agency’s main goals.”
Integrating all sectors is “fundamental,” said Cidre, adding that education is key to the island’s development.
He also said with the changes that are looming worldwide in tax matters, “it is obvious that our main competitive advantage has to be talent and human capital. For that reason, they will see more initiatives like this one that are aimed at aligning our educational offering to the needs of the industry.”
The DDEC is currently engaged in facilitating the permits and incentives granting process, while having the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company’s structures in optimal conditions. The agency is also seeking ways to improve broadband, “execute a quality public energy policy, promote the knowledge and technological economy, and the development of highly qualified talents, retraining and training for the future, because we want to create jobs of value and sustainability, among other efforts,” Cidre said.
He also expressed optimism about the changes proposed at the federal level, such as an increase in what is known as the Global Intangible Low-Tax Income (GILTI) and the agreements established by the countries that make up the G7 and G20.