Andrea Franchini, University of Maryland Extension’s Program Assistant for Agriculture & Food Systems

June 10, 2024

Andrea Franchini, University of Maryland Extension’s Program Assistant for Agriculture & Food Systems, has been selected as a Regional Network Coordinator with the AgriProspects Workforce Development Network. 

This project is a collaboration between the Extension Foundation and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Economic and Workforce Development Program Action Team, supported through funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

AgriProspects aims to foster regional cooperation, identify workforce ecosystem gaps, and offer collaborative, adaptive solutions to local and regional employment challenges. The project focuses on increasing awareness of and expanding access to Extension resources which enhance skill levels, facilitate credential attainment, and prepare participants for successful entry or re-entry into the workforce.

Franchini will be working with a team of regional and national coordinators from 1862 Colleges and Universities, 1890 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and 1994 Tribal Colleges and Universities within the land-grant network to achieve key project objectives, including: 

  • Creating a dynamic clearinghouse to organize and share Extension’s adult workforce development (AWD) offerings for the agricultural sector;
  • Developing and supporting a sustainable network of Extension Educators and Industry partners to strengthen the alignment of Extension’s agricultural AWD offerings with real-time industry needs;
  • Connecting employers, workforce intermediaries, and the agricultural workforce to Extension’s skill development programs that cultivate upskilling, credentialing, and participant readiness to successfully join or rejoin the ag workforce; and
  • Supporting the creation, evolution, expansion, and integration of Extension AWD programs locally, regionally, and nationally through mini-grant funding.

Visit AgriProspects Workforce Development Network – Extension Foundation to learn more about the project. Connect with Franchini at andrea1@umd.edu.

This work is supported through a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI Education and Workforce Development Competitive Grant 2023-67037-40533.