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Husson University to Host Leadership Unplugged

Published on: October 29, 2014

BANGOR, MAINE - Husson University’s Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business will be the host for “Leadership Unplugged,” sponsored by the Maine Development Foundation (MDF). Part of a series of conversations with Maine leaders about issues of economic importance, the upcoming presentation features Steve Pound, the associate director of workforce development at Cianbro Corporation. 

Pound will share his thoughts on the importance of employee development to the success of businesses. Recertifications, college degrees, executive development, leadership training and career pathing are just some of the educational strategies organizations can use to increase the effectiveness of their workforce.

“Workforce development is an approach that makes sense,” said Nancy Forster-Holt, Ph.D., M.B.A., C.M.A., executive director of entrepreneurship and executive development at Husson University’s College of Business. “Employers understand that there is a link between education and high-performing employees. A better educated workforce helps companies increase their productivity and profitability.” 

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), states that increase the level of education of their workforce often see greater productivity. Between 1979 and 2012, states where the majority of adults had a college degree experienced greater increases in productivity, (measured as gross state product per hour worked.) 

Husson University Dean Marie Hansen agrees and added, “Husson is a strong proponent of professional education for individuals. Knowledge is what makes individuals valuable to employers. Increasingly, education level and skills are what determine income.”

EPI research validates this perspective. The median annual earnings of U.S. workers, age 25+ with a master’s degree in 2011 was $60,709. A high school dropout, in contrast, had average earnings of $20,329 annually. 

Recent studies here in Maine show a clear link between education and employment. According
to a 2013 presentation by Glenn Mills, the chief economist in the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research, unemployment is highest among young people and those without post-secondary education. In addition, those without post-secondary education are less likely to be in the labor force. 

The Leadership Unplugged series provides opportunities for leaders from all over Maine and across sectors to come together in an intimate, relaxed setting to discuss the pertinent issues of the day and build the relationships that will allow Maine to move forward. In supporting this workforce development presentation, Husson University hopes to encourage a more favorable business climate here in our state for both employers and their employees. 

About the Presenter: 

Steve Pound understands the critical need to bring together employers, workers and educational institutions. He is a native Mainer with over 30 years of experience in education and fundraising. Pound currently services on the State Board of Education, Educate Maine and MDF’s Next Step Maine Employers’ Initiative Advisory Council. 

He previously served as superintendent of schools in School Union #60 for Greenville, Maine and the surrounding area. He was also the director of adult and community education for the Greenville School Department. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. In addition, Pound has Master of Science, Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees with certificates in international trade management, and educational fundraising. 

Colleagues have recognized Pound for his distinguished service to education. Since returning to Maine in 2002, he has been very active in his community by serving on economic development, workforce development, education, and healthcare boards. He is a Leadership Maine alumnus, Nu class, and joined Cianbro Companies in 2006. His responsibilities there include partnering with community colleges, technical schools, career centers, government, businesses and others to deliver cost effective and efficient programming to benefit each of Cianbro’s team members and to meet the needs of future projects.

“Leadership Unplugged” will be taking place on Wednesday, October 29th from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at Husson University’s Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business in Bangor, Maine. The cost is $20 for MDF members and $25 for MDF non-members. Breakfast is included. The Fall 2014 Leadership Unplugged series is made possible through the generous support of Bangor Savings Bank.
The Maine Development Foundation is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the State of Maine. MDF’s strategic focus is a productive workforce. We believe that a productive worker is one that is educated, healthy, innovative, and engaged in their community and the economy. Created in statute in 1978, MDF is a unique and trusted non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. MDF works statewide across all sectors. 

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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