Citizens Board Launches New Community Networking Initiative ‘CB Connects U’

New initiative designed to inform business leaders of the impact that UM has in South Florida.

Coral Gables (March 15, 2012) — The University of Miami Citizens Board has launched “CB Connects U,” a new initiative designed to inform business leaders of the impact that the University of Miami has in the South Florida community with the goal of strengthening the partnership between them and the University.

The Citizens Board, a select group of over 250 business, professionals and civic leaders supporting the University of Miami’s mission to improve our community and beyond, will unveil “CB Connects U” at a special reception on March 27, where University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala; UM Board of Trustees Chair Leonard Abess; and Steven J. Brodie, the President of the Citizens Board, School of Law alumnus, and Shareholder with Carlton Fields, P.A., are scheduled to speak and invite the business community to enhance networking and professional connections with the University. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is also expected to speak at the event, which is by invitation only.

“We want South Florida to continue to develop a highly skilled workforce, and it would be wonderful for the business community to engage with the University’s students — who come from all over the world — while they’re here so that they’ll stay after they graduate,” said Brodie, President of the UM Citizens Board, and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. “That will increase the caliber of the workforce. A lot of new businesses and start-ups are the work of college graduates, or students who are still in college. If we want a business community that’s an incubator for future businesses, we have a student body that we need to engage. “We’re looking at ways of improving the community by having this tremendous resource to grow with.”

Among the top private employers in Miami-Dade County, the University of Miami has an economic impact of $4.5 billion, and employs approximately 11,700 people on all of its campuses, with 90 percent residing in Miami-Dade County. Last Fall, the University opened doors of the Life Science & Technology Park in Miami’s health district, where jobs are being created and job training being made available for residents of the area.

One example of how the Citizens Board is already helping the business community is via an internship in Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office. As part of a hands-on internship overseen by UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement, students are in the process of conducting national benchmarking studies and writing reports identifying best practices in county procurement and permitting processes.

The University of Miami Citizen’s Board was established in 1946 to support the University’s philanthropic efforts and promote UM programs within the South Florida community. Since its inception, the CB has raised over $369 million for UM and advanced 90 of its members to the Board of Trustees.

Media contact:
Margot Winick
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