Cranford, NJ – Union College of Union County, NJ held its annual Convocation on September 5, 2023. Convocation, traditionally held the day before fall classes start, marks the beginning of the new academic year at Union. This year’s Convocation theme was titled “Navigating the Future of Learning and Work” and featured keynote speaker Maria Flynn, President and CEO of Jobs for the Future (JFF). JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems.
Prior to Ms. Flynn’s keynote, Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin provided a “State of the College” with remarks from Dr. Sara N. Lacagnino, Union’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Curriculum and Accreditation, who chairs the College’s Futures Task Force. Following Ms. Flynn’s keynote, she facilitated a panel featuring Dr. Aaron Fichtner, President of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Sarah S. Keh, Vice President of Inclusive Solutions at Prudential Financial; Susan Benavente, Union ’20 alumna and a current security analyst at a large New Jersey corporation; and Colin Newman, Director of Workforce & Economic Development for Amazon. The College has been an Amazon Career Choice partner thanks to the leadership from New Jersey Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari and the Union County Commissioners who were instrumental in forging this partnership. Union’s 2023 Convocation focused on how to prepare Union students for the workforce of tomorrow.
“We are thankful that Maria Flynn along the panelists shared their expertise and advice with our faculty and staff. Their outlook on the future of the workforce in America is illuminating and reiterates that we must remain agile and nimble to meet workforce needs in our region. We proudly continue to offer an excellent and affordable education to the Union County community, whether someone is a first-time college student, or they are a returning adult trying to learn a new skill or earn a industry credential,” stated President McMenamin.
Union College of Union County, New Jersey is a public, comprehensive community college that provides quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 two-year colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College offers a wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities. Union provides many experiential learning opportunities such as access to a Bloomberg Business Center, Innovation Center, and Student Research hub. Additionally, students at Union attend one of the top 25 community colleges in the country for 2023 as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. To learn more, visit www.ucc.edu.