The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has announced the appointment of Ellen Flowers-Fields as the vice president of CSM’s Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CWD), effective July 1. This move comes as part of a strategic organizational change approved by the CSM Board of Trustees on May 18, aimed at better serving the region’s workforce pipeline needs.
Flowers-Fields, currently serving as CSM’s Associate Vice President, will oversee all areas of CWD’s non-credit economic and community development programming. This includes the Center for Trades and Energy Training, the Velocity Center, Maryland Center for Environmental Training, the Workforce Center, the Small Business Development Center, the Nonprofit Institute, the Center for Transportation Training, and Adult Basic Education.
CSM President Dr. Yolanda Wilson expressed her confidence in Flowers-Fields, stating, “Ellen’s well-deserved promotion and the establishment of this division is a direct result of the excellent work she has done leading her team to increase our credit-free enrollment, engage community and industry partners, and spearhead several innovative and successful initiatives.”
Flowers-Fields brings over 30 years of progressive professional experience in the field of workforce development and human capital management to her new role. Throughout her career, she has acquired and managed more than $100 million in support of various economic and community development initiatives. Her previous positions include acting assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary of the Division of Workforce Development & Adult Learning at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, regional director of economic development at the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, and executive director for Southern Maryland Works.
Flowers-Fields expressed her gratitude for the new opportunity, saying, “I am honored for this new opportunity to lead and continue to shape the future of community and workforce development education at CSM. I applaud Dr. Wilson’s recognition of the significance of workforce development in our region and the collective impact our industry engagement efforts have on the regional economy and the lives of our students.”
Flowers-Fields is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pace University in New York. Additionally, she has certification in Business Incubation Management from the International Business Innovation Association and is credentialed as a Global Career Development Facilitator from the Center for Credentialing and Education. She is also a 2009 graduate of the inaugural class of Leadership Southern Maryland and a recipient of the 2016 League for Innovation in the Community College Excellence Award.
Apart from her new role at CSM, Flowers-Fields is actively involved in various organizations. She serves as the vice chair of Maryland’s Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), a gubernatorial appointment that plays a crucial role in Maryland’s economic development. She is also a member of the American Association of Community College’s Economic & Workforce Development Commission, an executive board member for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, and a member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and the Maryland Economic Development Association.
The establishment of the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development is seen as a significant step toward meeting the region’s workforce needs. CSM’s credit-free student population currently constitutes half of the total enrollment, and the institution has become the preferred choice for workforce training and development among community partners. By separating the CWD department from the Division of Learning, CSM aims to enhance its capacity to serve as a vital workforce pipeline and trainer in the region.
Flowers-Fields’ vast experience and dedication to workforce development make her a valuable addition to the CSM leadership team. Her appointment as vice president of CWD signifies the college’s commitment to addressing the evolving needs of the community and strengthening its role as a driver of economic growth. With her extensive workforce development and human capital management background, Flowers-Fields is poised to lead CSM’s efforts in providing high-quality education and training opportunities that align with industry demands.
The Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development encompasses several key programs and centers. The Center for Trades and Energy Training focuses on preparing students for careers in skilled trades and energy-related industries, providing them with hands-on training and industry certifications. The Velocity Center offers a collaborative space for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology-based initiatives, fostering the region’s economic growth and technological advancement.
The Maryland Center for Environmental Training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to address environmental challenges and pursue careers in environmental science and sustainability. The Workforce Center serves as a resource hub, connecting job seekers with employment opportunities and offering career development services. The Small Business Development Center supports aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling, training, and resources to foster business growth and success.
The Nonprofit Institute provides specialized training for professionals in the nonprofit sector, empowering them to make a positive impact in their communities. The Center for Transportation Training offers comprehensive training programs for individuals seeking careers in the transportation industry, including trucking, logistics, and supply chain management. Adult Basic Education assists individuals in enhancing their literacy and numeracy skills, opening doors to further education and career advancement.
Flowers-Fields’ vision for the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development is to strengthen collaborations with community and industry partners, ensuring that the programs and services offered align with the region’s workforce needs. By engaging with employers and staying abreast of emerging industry trends, CSM aims to equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge that will lead to meaningful employment opportunities.
CSM’s commitment to workforce development extends beyond the campus walls. As an active member of various organizations, Flowers-Fields leverages her expertise to contribute to the broader economic development of Maryland. Her role as vice chair of Maryland’s Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) allows her to play a pivotal role in driving technological innovation and supporting technology companies in the state.
Flowers-Fields’ appointment as vice president of CWD reflects the college’s dedication to providing accessible, relevant, and high-quality education and training to individuals seeking to enhance their careers and contribute to the region’s economic growth. Under her leadership, CSM’s Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development will continue to shape the future of community and workforce development education, fostering a skilled and competitive workforce that meets the needs of Southern Maryland and beyond.