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National leaders meet to discuss manufacturing innovation

In October, Lehigh hosted The Council on Competitiveness conference, and annual, national event that brings together national leaders to discuss the role of manufacturing and innovation in making the United States more globally competitive. John E. McGlade ’76 gave the keynote address, highlighting realities of  emerging markets and the need for increased focus on educating our workforce. McGlade is CEO of Air Products, which sponsored the event along with the Washington D.C.-based Council on Competitiveness, and Lehigh University.

McGlade began his career with Air Products in 1976 after graduating from Lehigh with a B.S. in industrial engineering; he was appointed president and chief operating officer in 2006. The Council on Competitiveness was co-hosted by McGlade along with Lehigh President Alice P. Gast. The conference brings CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders together to identify ways of improving America’s competitiveness in global industry and to generate innovative public policy solutions.

Lehigh has been involved with the Council since its inception in 1986. This year’s conference, entitled “Leveraging the Talent Development Process to Drive Innovation,” concentrated on refocusing school curriculum to create well-rounded workers who can compete effectively in a global economy.

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Mentoring discussion panelists

Deborah Wince-Smith, Alice Gast and John McGlade carefully empty out the contents of a canister of liquid nitrogen.