Michael C. Zigner Collaborations ManagerMichael Zigner joined ITN in July 2012, and takes the lead in developing faculty and business connections in Berks, Lebanon and portions of Lancaster counties. In his former roles as Director of Industry Partnerships at Lehigh Carbon Community College, and Continuing Education Representative for Penn State Berks, Mike was responsible for matching the educational resources of the institutions with the workforce training and professional development needs of area industry. Throughout his career, he has worked on various regional economic development initiatives, and he is excited to put his knowledge of college and university research expertise to work in growing Central Pennsylvania’s economy.
Throughout much of his career, Mike has been engaged in workforce and economic development initiatives. His experience assessing and meeting industry demands is a key to developing strong partnerships between higher education and business. As an experienced leader in higher education outreach, he also has firsthand knowledge of the importance, application, and power of college and university research. He sees it as his mission to foster business and community engagement at the region’s institutions of higher education.
While serving at Lehigh Carbon Community College and Penn State Berks Mike had the opportunity to provide expertise to regional industry partnerships including Food Processing, Logistics and Transportation, Advanced and Diversified Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Energy. He was also instrumental in the development of an award-winning Information Technology (IT) Occupational Partnership in association with the Berks County Workforce Investment Board by garnering seed-grant funding and research expertise from Penn State University Park. He also served on two Strategic Teams Accelerating Regional Stimuli (STARS) advisory boards in Northeast Pennsylvania, and on the Greater Reading Area Chamber of Commerce &Industry Technology Committee.
Before moving into higher education on a full-time basis, he started his career in the newspaper industry and was Managing Editor for the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal and Production Editor for a daily newspaper in Columbia County. He was also an adjunct faculty member at Northampton Community College teaching Morals and Ethics.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy (Environmental Policy and Ethics) from Southern Illinois University, and has a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Geography (Environmental Planning) from Bloomsburg University. He holds a Project Management certificate from Penn State, and is also a certified LEED Green Associate and BPI Building Analyst. He is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Administration at Penn State Harrisburg.