Greater Washington Partnership Welcomes Two Cross-Sector Board Partners Invested in Strengthening Regional Tech Workforce

by | Sep 19, 2023

Dave Calhoun, President and CEO of Boeing, and Tim Sands, President of Virginia Tech, represent synergy between business and academia to spur innovation and economic competitiveness 

Partnership Brings on Senior Leader to Drive Skills and Talent Efforts Across the Region

Washington, DC – Today, the Greater Washington Partnership announced the addition of two distinguished Board partners: Dave Calhoun, chief executive officer at The Boeing Company, “Boeing,” and Tim Sands, president at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, “Virginia Tech.” They bring cross-sector expertise to the Partnership’s efforts to strengthen a competitive tech workforce in the region.  

Calhoun and Sands joined the Partnership amid the organization’s sharpened focus on skills and talent initiatives, which aim to bridge the gap between the business and academic communities from Baltimore to Richmond. Virginia Tech and Boeing have developed a constructive shared commitment to innovation and collaboration as they expand their respective footprints in the region.  

“The ongoing partnership between Boeing and Virginia Tech is a leading example of how employer-educator collaboration can unlock talent, drive innovation, and catalyze economic transformation for a region,” said Peter Scher, vice chairman at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and board chair of the Partnership. “As the Greater Washington Partnership continues to double down on its skills and talent work, I couldn’t think of two better leaders than Dave and Tim to help shape our work and provide insight on the innovative methods they have discovered to strengthen ties between industry and academia.” 

In 2022, an estimated 70,000 jobs were unfilled in the region and almost half of these vacancies were technology jobs. A key resource the Partnership uses to address these gaps is the Employer Signaling System (ESS), a differentiating tool informed by employers and labor market data that helps educators prepare students to fill some of the most in-demand tech jobs.  

“The Partnership’s efforts to bring together employers, community leaders and academics to identify shared opportunities and act on key issues is important to our region, and our nation,” said Kathy Warden, chair, chief executive officer and president at Northrop Grumman and vice board chair at the Partnership. “Together, we will leverage insights from GWP programs, including the Employer Signaling System, to fill vital tech jobs and generate greater economic opportunity. We are thrilled to have leaders like Dr. Tim Sands and Dave Calhoun join our board as we strengthen and expand these vital initiatives.” 

Virginia Tech is an existing partner with the ESS and has a history working with industry leaders to build curriculum that aligns with evolving labor market needs.  

“Virginia Tech has been an important partner to Boeing over the years, and I’m excited to bring the shared knowledge from that relationship to the Greater Washington Partnership,” said Dave Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO and new Partnership board partner. “By bringing together business and academia into the alliance, we will continue to foster a robust talent pipeline in our region — helping us invest in the future of our workforce and ensuring sustained growth and innovation. I’m looking forward to contributing as a board member as we work collectively to drive impactful change in our community.” 

“Virginia Tech has been a proud member of the greater Washington D.C. community for more than 50 years, with nearly 80,000 alumni and a growing number of industry partners in the region” said Tim Sands, Virginia Tech president and new Partnership Board partner. “We look forward to working collaboratively with the Greater Washington Partnership to make education and employment more accessible, develop and attract diverse talent, and support the region’s growth as one of the nation’s most innovative technology hubs.” 

Calhoun and Sands’ term is effective immediately and runs through 2026.  

In addition to welcoming new board partners who are long-standing champions for filling employment gaps, the Partnership hired Emily Bouck West as a new vice president for skills, talent and the future of work to advance these projects. Bouck West recently served as public policy manager at Amazon focused on workforce development matters. 

“Emily’s experience and passion advancing our tech-ready talent pipelines will fuel the Partnership’s work,” said Kathy Hollinger, Greater Washington Partnership chief executive officer. “When students are equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to be successful in tech roles, it benefits not only the students but also the employers in our region, and more broadly, our region’s economy. With the addition of Tim and Dave on our board, together, we are moving swiftly to meet our evolving needs. Both of their institutions have been intentional about their growth and presence in the region.”  

About the Greater Washington Partnership  

Greater Washington Partnership is the first-of-its-kind nonprofit alliance of the region’s most influential and leading employers across industry sectors in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC – all committed to championing the region’s economic growth and vibrancy. Together, we leverage our collective experiences, resources and assets to identify shared challenges and offer real solutions to the region’s most critical issues including skills and talent, regional mobility, infrastructure and inclusive growth. Our goal is to ensure the entire region, from Baltimore to Richmond, remains vibrant, economically competitive, prosperous for all and is the best place to live, work and build a business. Learn more about the Partnership at greaterwashingtonpartnership.com. 

About Boeing 

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Join our team and find your purpose at boeing.com/careers.   

About Virginia Tech 

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. Since its founding as a land-grant college in 1872, Virginia Tech has grown to an enrollment of 35,000. In Northern Virginia, the university is developing a 1 million-square-foot Innovation Campus that will become a global center of talent production and technology excellence. In Roanoke, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine are a part of the VTC Academic Health Center. The main campus is in Blacksburg, Virginia, while the university’s international presence is anchored by the Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Virginia Tech conducts more than $590 million in research annually. The university boasts world-class research institutes and facilities — such as the Smart Road transportation research testbed, and the Cube, a four-story theater and laboratory in the Moss Arts Center.

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