There is little doubt that the demographic makeup of this country is transforming.
Hispanic and Asian populations are expected to double by 2060 in the United States, and, by 2043, the country is expected to no longer have a majority of Caucasians, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections.
Students with majors in the colleges of Business Administration, Engineering and Environmental Design will have to be cognizant of how this will impact communities to achieve professional success.
On Thursday, May 1, in the Ursa Major room of the Bronco Student Center, one of the country’s top planners will address what students need to know about these ever-changing demographics and the impact that having this knowledge will have on their careers.
Mitchell Silver, the outgoing planning director for Raleigh, N.C, will be the keynote speaker at a noon Weglyn Multicultural Studies event titled “Workplace in Motion: Multiculturalism in the Professions.” Silver’s talk is titled “Planning for the Future: What’s Next? Who’s Next?”
“He will talk about changing demographics and how this will impact the future communities, local communities and also the workplace,” says Denise Lawrence, a Department of Architecture professor. “You can’t avoid it.”
Silver is a past president of the American Planning Association and is New York City’s incoming parks commissioner.
“Silver has shown leadership as one of the top practitioners of urban planning but also now as the incoming head of the New York City park system, which is one of the best urban park systems in the world … probably one of the best cities in the country for leadership for urban park issues,” College of Environmental Design Dean Michael Woo says.
After the talk, a panel consisting of two alumni each from the colleges of Business Administration, Engineering and Environmental Design will discuss what it takes to achieve success in a multicultural society, such as aspects of their cultural background that enabled them to easily maneuver between conflicting cultural settings. The panel discussion will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and is open to everyone.
“They will speak about confronting these issues in the workplace and how they overcame them and achieved,” Lawrence says.
The country’s changes will definitely impact students from each of the three colleges in the decades ahead, which makes the event a must attend for those looking to be fully prepared for the workforce.
For example, business majors who want to work in the restaurant industry need to know as much about demographic changes as an urban planner does, such as site locations, where people go in the city and menu planning, Department of Urban and Regional Planning Chair Richard Willson says.
Engineers will benefit from an improved understanding of demographics when dealing with traffic mitigation issues, such as whether it’s inappropriate to widen a street in a dense area of Los Angeles.
Knowing about diversity is one thing, but making the professions themselves diverse is another part of Silver’s message. Cal Poly Pomona’s professional programs are a big part of that effort.
Silver’s talk and the panel discussion are being jointly coordinated by the Colleges of Environmental Design, Engineering and Business.
The architecture honor society, Tau Sigma Delta, is coordinating the event with student groups in Engineering, the Triangles, Business Administration and PIHRA (Professionals in Human Resources Association).
The event is supported by the Michi and Walter Weglyn Endowed Chair of Multicultural Studies. Since its establishment in 1999, it has promoted communication and understanding among all ethnic and racial minority groups in the United States.