Monday, December 17, 2007

It All Starts with an "A"

The ARCC and ABSP recently hosted representatives from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) at The Queensbury Hotel. Allyson Peerman, AMD Vice President of Public Affairs and Ward Tisdale, Director of Community Affairs, addressed the nearly one hundred people gathered for the informative breakfast.

Ms. Peerman was the first to speak for AMD and she stressed the need to find "the best and brightest" as being part and parcel to considering this region for a new plant. She and Tisdale both spoke in positive, but politically guarded terms regarding the potential arrival of AMD. Both stressed AMD's belief that "...people are the source of our competitive advantage." They talked about how the success of these moves rely on an ability to partner locally to identify future employees, accomplishing this through collaborations with universities, middles schools and community leaders.

Mr. Tisdale shared that kids usually decide in middle school that they will be engineers and that this is always rooted in a relationship with an adult who demonstrates the possibility of an interesting career in this field. AMD seeks to create relationships with students at this early stage in order to cultivate interest and nurture success.

Mr. Tisdale made several references to Science Buddies, a program designed to engage students at an early age in elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Energy, Math - the elements companies like AMD stress as being critical to success.) Another mechanism for success, or strategy he saw as proving effective was No Gamer Left Behind, a video game based learning aid that is designed to appeal to a generation of video game users.

After a frank back and forth with the audience, both Tisdale and Peerman communicated a desire to return and a promise to follow up on questions that had been asked during the presentation.