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University of Phoenix Provost Dr. John Woods Joins WESTMARC Annual Economic Development Summit

Woods providing insights from university’s Career Optimism Index® study on workforce development

University of Phoenix provost and chief academic officer John Woods, Ph.D., joins the 2022 Economic Development Summit of WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition, of which the University is a member. The annual event, titled “Where is Our Workforce?,” will be held Tuesday, May 17, at Grand Canyon University in Glendale, AZ, and features three panel discussions with leaders in the community examining workforce trends in target industry sectors of the West Valley, employer strategies, and workforce housing and transportation.

“Workforce changes have not only impacted Arizona and our nation, but are also a global problem,” states Sintra Hoffman, President and CEO of WESTMARC. “We’re excited to hear from Dr. Woods to learn strategies that we can employ to ensure the West Valley continues to move forward economically.”

Workforce attraction and retention efforts are evolving as employers manage through talent impacts, including the pandemic and The Great Resignation. Woods will contribute with other leaders on the panel, “Employer Strategies: Attraction, Retention, and Development,” exploring insights gained from talent feedback, including the University of Phoenix Career Institute™ 2022 Career Optimism Index® study, around their priorities and what they need to return to and succeed in the workforce, as well as how employers are responding by shifting efforts and developing best practices and creative solutions.

“As employers across the country face significant retention issues amid The Great Resignation, our Career Optimism Index® study identified a significant gap between employer perspective and employee reality,” states Woods. “The Summit provides a great opportunity to collaborate and identify best practices on how to address core disparities in this gap so that we can shift to The Great Retention.”

WESTMARC, a public/private partnership and member organization of the 15 communities, business community and educational sector in the West Valley of Phoenix, AZ region, was formed in 1990 to address important issues facing the West Valley’s economic prosperity. The region is now home to 1.7 million residents, a thriving business community, abundance of education options, and world-class sports and entertainment amenities. Maricopa County is the 4th largest county in the nation, and economic forecasts and growth projections show that over the next 25 years, 49.5% of the growth in Maricopa County will occur in the West Valley. WESTMARC continues to work with regional stakeholders to ensure this community is ready to meet the associated demands.

The annual summit attracts numerous leaders across industries in the area. Learn more about the summit and WESTMARC here.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

@UOPX provost Dr. John Woods joins the 2022 Economic Development Summit of @WESTMARC, “Where is Our Workforce?,” featuring 3 panel discussions w/ community leaders examining workforce trends, employer strategies, and workforce housing and transportation.


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