The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have led to unprecedented economic costs for businesses around the world with Lancaster County reporting an unemployment rate of 21 percent in April. To help the county in its economic recovery, Millersville University has created the Office of Community Engagement, Governmental and Economic Development.
“As the largest university in the county, it is our responsibility to address this economic challenge head on,” said Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville. “To do so strategically and effectively requires a central office to coordinate and manage this effort; hence, the creation of the new office.”
This office will be established on July 1 and will serve as a central coordinating unit to lead the University’s workforce development efforts in Lancaster County and the region. Among the responsibilities will be performance of cross-industry analyses and development of academic and professional programs to meet labor needs in the region. It will engage with business, industry and community partners as well as coordinate the University’s interactions with state and local governmental agencies.
Dr. Victor DeSantis, former Chief of Staff to Dr Wubah at Millersville University, will be the executive director of the new office. His area of expertise is public administration and policy, and he has extensive experience in community engagement, economic development and industry partnerships.
“With the establishment of this office, we are meeting one of our core EPPIIC values – public mission,” said Wubah. “The workforce needs of the local business community are changing as our county recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to attract new businesses and retain existing businesses, we need to supply a workforce that is ready for the challenges ahead of us.”
The Lombardo College of Business and the College of Graduate Studies and Adult Learning will also work with the new office to develop programs and certificates that the workforce and businesses need to retool.
“Together, I am confident that we can make a difference,” said Wubah.