Below are the track descriptions for the June 2007 ACF.
EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
This track will examine the relationship between education, training, and workforce development, and the crucial role these factors play in strengthening competitiveness. Specialists in the field of economic development, members from the academic community, and representatives from creative public-private partnerships will engage government officials, as well as each other, in a series of panel discussions from both topical and regional perspectives.
GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGIES
Developing a dynamic and successful supply chain strategy for the Western Hemisphere is critical to a company’s comparative advantage and to competitiveness of the Americas vis-à-vis other regions. This track will offer some of the current approaches to developing unobstructed supply chains, provide strategies for creating cross-border supply chains that address governmental regulations and security matters, and share examples of best practices for private and public sector collaboration on infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects that improve the movements of goods and people.
Innovation enhances competitiveness by increasing the flow of ideas, systematically capturing and sharing ideas and leveraging those ideas to increase break-through innovation and accelerate development. Track participants will engage in a series of panel discussions with representatives from the private sector, government, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations. The panels will share best practices and case studies in the areas of sustainability, public-private partnerships, alternative energy technologies, commercialization of ideas and the development of government policies that foster innovation to help participants explore how innovation can enhance national and regional competitiveness.
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
In today’s increasingly connected world, opportunities for small businesses to develop and grow are not only expanding, but also are a vital component of the economic development of a region. The goal of the Small Business Development track is to identify tangible ways to facilitate business creation and growth. Panelists will discuss ways to make financing more available for small businesses, minimize the regulatory obstacles involved in starting and operating a business, and encourage a regional spirit of entrepreneurialism. Addressing these topics is critical to creating the environment and providing the tools for business to become more competitive in the global economy.