Paying close attention to the needs of employers, and developing ways to meet those needs, is a high priority for Vincent A. Rice, who has just been named WEDC’s vice president of sector strategy development.
Rice comes to WEDC from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), where he had been a program manager for the Division of Employment and Training since 2012. In that role, he evaluated the talent requirements of different industries and created targeted training programs to meet those needs. He also led efforts to improve collaboration and communication between the business community and the agency, with a focus on improving processes and relationships across the state.
At WEDC, he hopes to build upon the foundation of his previous work by ensuring that companies in key sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, and water technology have the knowledge and the tools they need to be successful.
“My goal is to create access for the various segments that make up the state’s key industries and give them the opportunity to understand where they are today and what is needed to grow and enhance their competitive position regionally, nationally and globally,” Rice explained. “It’s not about simply having an overall industry strategy, it’s about providing industry segments the opportunity to leverage the state in ways that effectively benefit them and Wisconsin’s overall economy.”
Rice previous served as division vice president and general manager for RMT Inc. (formerly a division of Alliant Energy Corp.) from 2006 to 2009; as a business director for the Aerospace Division of Honeywell International Inc. from 2001 to 2006; and as a product development manager and a product line manager for Corning Inc. from 1995 to 2001.
Rice holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Hampton University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He also holds Six Sigma and Project Management Professional certifications.
“Vincent has a strong track record of working closely with businesses to help them strengthen their competitive positions and improve organizational performance,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Vincent’s extensive experience with state government and the private sector uniquely positions him to lead WEDC’s efforts to develop strategies to ensure the state’s key industries are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the ever-changing global economy.”
WEDC’s Sector Strategy Development Division works with industry sector organizations, consortia, business associations, and regional economic development partners to develop ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Wisconsin’s core and emerging sectors.