From the PGA
More than 500 College Students Participate in Inaugural PGA WORKS Virtual Workshop
PGA WORKS, the inclusion pillar of PGA REACH, brought together more than 500 college students on Thursday, May 21st for the inaugural PGA WORKS Virtual Career Workshop. The day-long series of interactive panel discussions focused on business networking and career development, both in and out of the golf industry, with a stable of business and sports leaders, golf industry executives and PGA Officials providing insight and guidance live via YouTube Stream.
The PGA WORKS Virtual Career Workshop was conceived in the aftermath of the unfortunate cancellation of the 2020 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship due to COVID-19.
Participation far exceeded the PGA’s expectations with students and student-athletes from more than 100 Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), many of which registered for the 2020 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, the most culturally significant championship in collegiate golf. Among the institutions represented: Bethune-Cookman University, Alabama State University, North Carolina A&T University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and many more.
In addition, several hundred students from large national universities—including Auburn, Louisville, Maryland, Penn State, Purdue and Texas A&M—joined in, along with other PGA WORKS program participants.
Hosted by TV sports personality Jonathan Coachman, PGA WORKS’ newest ambassador, the workshop addressed the importance of career readiness in these unsettled times, while promoting employment opportunities in the golf industry. Also highlighted were educational opportunities for diverse students in mentorship, personal branding and various aspects of career development. Panelists included:
- Johnathan Coachman – Host, Golf Channel/PGA TOUR Live/WWE
- Sandy Cross – Chief People Officer, PGA of America
- Ulonda Crawford Eurey – Senior HR Business Partner, AIG Life & Retirement
- Yarmon Kennedy – Vice President Strategic Planning, AIG Retirement Services
- Freda Lee – Senior Vice President, Head of Relationship Management, AIG Retirement Services
- Rachel Melendez Mabee – PGA WORKS Program Specialist, PGA of America
- Lamell McMorris – PGA REACH Trustee, CEO Perennial Strategy Group, Founding Principle of Greenlining Realty USA
- Dee Robinson – PGA REACH Trustee, CEO of Robinson Hill
- Nerissa Robinson – Diversity and Talent Manager, PGA TOUR
- DeAngelo Simmons – CEO and NBA Certified Agent, BDS Sports
- Bill Whaley – National Director of Operations, PGA TOUR
- Suzy Whaley – President, PGA of America
“The essence of this workshop was to engage students in career development programming and consultation with expert insight and mentoring from leading business, golf and sports leaders,” said Scooter Clark, PGA, Manager of the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship. “Given the unique circumstance of having to hold this workshop via live stream on YouTube, we were thrilled to engage over 500 students throughout the day who not only listened to the panelists intently, but interacted by asking questions and exchanging information about their career goals and expectations.”
“During these unsettling times, college students are very concerned about their future career options. It was important for us to help alleviate their stress while reinforcing the breadth of opportunities in all sectors of the golf industry,” said Sandy Cross, Chief People Officer, PGA of America. “This approach enabled us to reach beyond the 190 student-athletes we annually host on-site at the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship. The new-look career workshop presented an opportunity for students to engage with fellow future business leaders while connecting with executives to share their expertise and experiences in both the business and golf world.”
Cross added, “For this inaugural event, we could not have been happier with the number of participants. The interactive nature of the workshop helped inspire these students and provide great perspectives on career readiness, networking and opportunities.”
For more information on PGA WORKS, visit https://www.pgareach.org.