In these tough economic times, creating jobs and educating people are more critical than ever. Old ways don't work, and our region needs to do things differently. In that spirit, it is great to see Robert Morris University take the bold step of offering our veterans the opportunity to earn a degree at a private institution for free ("Robert Morris Lending a Hand to Veterans," Feb. 12).
Since April 2004, I've been working as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board. In that role, I have seen firsthand a disconnect between what employers need and the workforce that is available in today's marketplace.
In order to make our workforce more competitive, people need to get an education that will prepare them to seize the opportunities that are being created by our changing business climate. Having served our country and made many sacrifices, our veterans deserve this opportunity.
To assist veterans in enrolling and earning their degree, the university will also open the RMU VETS Center, which is a win/win for our region. Services will include academic advising and flexible course scheduling. Through their combined offer of free tuition and support services, RMU is creating an asset not only for deserving veterans and their families, but for employers in our region who need talent they can count on.
As a member of the board of trustees of Robert Morris, I write to encourage employers to connect with this new asset. I am hopeful that our U.S. veterans and their families will embrace this opportunity.
DAVID J. MALONE
The writer is president and CEO of Gateway Financial, Downtown