World-Renowned Economist Raj Chetty, Ph.D., Joins Precision Institute at National University Distinguished Speakers Series

February 20, 2018

Dr. Chetty, a professor of economics at Stanford University, will deliver a special lecture on Feb. 27 to more than 300 community leaders regarding economic mobility in San Diego

San Diego, CA – National University is partnering with the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to launch a regional discussion on increasing upward mobility opportunities through the use of data-driven methods. To initiate the conversation, guest lecturer Dr. Raj Chetty, who has been named one of the top economists in the world by the New York Times and The Economist, will present his research Feb. 27 on “Creating Conditions for Economic Mobility.”

Raj Chetty

A recent EDC study detailed how San Diego has experienced solid economic growth, led by its innovation industries, which have added jobs three times faster than the overall economy, but that this prosperity has not been shared by all San Diegans. Dr. Chetty will address these issues through his powerful research findings on inter-generational mobility, housing, neighborhood policy, education and college persistence. The presentation, which is part of the Precision Institute at National University Distinguished Speakers Series, will take place at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and is expected to bring together over 300 local community leaders from education, nonprofit, private and public sectors.

San Diego has a strong employer, research and university base that relies on the most sophisticated uses of data science, predictive science and other tools such as artificial intelligence and algorithms. The nonprofit National University serves as a primary example of the increasing emphasis on data-driven methods to increase positive outcomes through its recently established Precision Institute at National University. Through the Institute, National University is exploring innovative approaches to personalize learning through advanced technologies that adapt to individual student needs with the intent of better serving a diverse population of lifelong learners to college completion and workforce preparation.

“We are pleased to partner with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego Regional EDC and other regional organizations to collectively explore data processes and policies that can improve the education-to-employment pipeline,” said National University President Dr. David Andrews. “By synthesizing Dr. Chetty’s economic expertise, we can further adapt innovative, research-based methods to serve adult learners and job seekers, and meet the current and future workforce needs of employers.”

In San Diego County, where official unemployment is in the low three-percent range, there remain many people disconnected from education and work at a time when many skill-based jobs are available and going unfilled. San Diego Workforce Partnership utilizes data-driven research in labor market trends to drive its mission of empowering job seekers to meet employer demands. The emerging partnership between San Diego Workforce Partnership and National University supports their shared commitment to helping San Diegans make smooth transitions from higher education into quality jobs and careers.

“San Diego has a unique opportunity to pioneer the use of an array of data science capabilities to build a stronger understanding of workforce demands to provide more effective career development programs,” said Peter Callstrom, CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. “Adapting analyses from Dr. Chetty’s economic expertise can lead to more effective policies that drive change and make a positive impact in the local community.”

National University and San Diego Workforce Partnership are joined by other regional organizations including the EDC, the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD, the San Diego County Office of Education, National Laboratory for Education Transformation, and the Hapke Family Fund that are equally interested in applying Dr. Chetty’s empirical evidence and economic theory to use big data techniques that can bring greater efficiency to education, workforce training and the regional infrastructure.

Dr. Chetty received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003 at the age of 23 and later became one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard’s history, before moving to Stanford in 2015. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Genius Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under the age of 40.

**For more information on the Feb. 27 lecture, and to RSVP: nu.edu/precision-events.

The Precision Institute at National University
is leading research and testing in advanced technologies, open education resources, and predictive analytics with the aim of developing a unique inter-connected and dynamic learning platform. To achieve this goal, the Institute is advancing current and future partnerships in coordination with faculty; educational organizations; and education technology partners, and leading global experts and researchers, which includes identifying Fellows to be involved with projects that align with the Institute’s goals. www.nu.edu/precision

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is among the largest, private, nonprofit universities in California. With more than 150,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. http://www.nu.edu/

About San Diego Workforce Partnership
SDWP is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. It funds and delivers job training programs that enable all job seekers to develop the skills and knowledge needed for in-demand careers. SDWP also provides ongoing labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Its vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit workforce.org.

About San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation
San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC’s) mission is to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. As an independently funded non-profit fueled by more than 160 companies and organizations, EDC takes a data-driven approach to attracting, retaining and expanding companies and the talent pool across the region’s three traded economies: military, tourism and innovation. sandiegobusiness.org