University College hires director for new talent and education development center

University College of Syracuse University has announced the newly named Talent and Education Development Center (TEDCenter) and the appointment of Karen DeJarnette as the center’s director.

Formerly the WorkKeys Center, the TEDCenter will provide programming to support the workforce needs of businesses and the career development opportunities for individuals in Central New York and across the state. The TEDCenter will use a variety of delivery methods to provide both credit and noncredit programs and certifications. Working closely with employers and regional organizations to understand their critical business requirements, the center will create customized and onsite programs and certificate offerings in order to bring skilled workers into closer alignment with the needs of public and private sectors.

DeJarnette’s role will include evaluating program needs, determining the strategic fit for new programs, identifying and sourcing needed resources, delivering programming and ascertaining its effectiveness.

The CNY Regional Economic Development Council Strategic Plan reports that talent shortages in areas such as engineering, information technologies and medical care compel businesses to expand outside of the region. This trend has negatively impacted economic growth and employment, a trend the TEDCenter hopes to have a role in reversing.

“We have long heard employers say they are unable to find employees with the skills the business needs to be competitive,” says DeJarnette. “University College’s investment in the TEDCenter will help us close that gap.”

DeJarnette brings a collaborative approach to her work at University College, having gained a broad perspective on the diversity of both national and global markets and customers throughout her career. She was the director of Workforce Development for Empire State Development Corp. prior to joining the TEDCenter team. DeJarnette also worked at the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), serving as the vice president of training and corporate development, and before that, worked at Carrier Corp. She was also an adjunct professor at SU’s School of Information Studies.

DeJarnette earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois and master’s degrees in business administration and information management from SU.