Investing in Alaska’s Workforce

A Summit on the Economic Impact of Early Care and Learning

In October 2017 thread hosted Investing in Alaska’s Workforce: A Summit on the Economic Impact of Early Care & Learning. The event brought together many early childhood advocates and experts, business leaders, and community members for a conversation around the economic impact of early childhood education. Below you will find resources from Investing in Alaska’s Workforce.

Summit Agenda


8:15 BREAKFAST KEYNOTE: Early Learning Investments from a Pediatric Perspective

  • Dr. Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, Medical Officer for Children and Families at Public Health Seattle King County and Executive Director & President of BestStart Washington 

Pulling from his experiences in primary care practice, academics, government, health policy, advocacy, and nonprofit organizations, Dr.Yasuda will
discuss why investments in education need to begin at birth. Additionally, Dr. Yasuda will highlight some innovative solutions happening in

9:45 BREAK

10:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: Creative, Caring, and Crazy: A Look at Local Initiatives in Alaska: moderated by Abbe Hensley, Executive Director of Best Beginnings

Hear about innovative initiatives happening in communities throughout Alaska. Panelists include:

  • Julie Taylor, CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital
  • Lisa Moreno, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Cook Inlet Tribal Council
  • Desiré Shepler, Director, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su
  • Kevin Ritchie, Former Executive Director of the Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Conference of Mayors

11:05 GENERAL SESSION: Group Activity—Let’s Reflect


12:15 LUNCH KEYNOTE: Connecting Investments in Early Childhood to Business Success

  • Randy Laszewski, Audit Partner at KPMG’s National Professional Practice Group in New York

Mr. Laszewski will discuss why investing in early childhood is a smart business decision by highlighting the positive impacts KMPG has experienced
through its early childhood initiatives.

1:45 BREAK

2:00 GENERAL SESSION: ReadyNation’s Report: Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Support Workforce Success

  • Nancy Fishman, Deputy Director at ReadyNation

Ms. Fishman will present the findings of ReadyNation’s Report, which examines how social-emotional skills formed in early childhood contribute
to building a strong workforce with the necessary soft skills for the 21st century economy.

3:00 GENERAL SESSION: Group Activity—Soft Skills & Effective Messaging



Investing in Alaska’s Workforce was sponsored by: