Nicole Gislason is the Executive Director of the University of West Florida Haas Center, part of UWF's Division of Academic Affairs. The center’s team supports communities with market research, workforce development and industrial innovation. The Haas Center’s information products and services are designed to inform strategic decision-making processes, enhance operational effectiveness, and improve the tactical performance of the region’s workforce. Gislason’s overall goal is to accelerate technology adoption, talent development, and business growth in an effort to enhance the region’s competitiveness. Her primary aptitude in higher education is an ability to communicate effectively with educators, business leaders, and government officials. This allows her to connect people who have common needs but different missions.
Gislason is the principal investigator on numerous projects related to survey research and economic impact. Her previous work includes a public-private partnership between Florida’s manufacturing sector, the State, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The MEP National Network, which operates in all 50 states, partners with organizations like the Haas Center to increase the productivity and technological performance of the region’s manufacturing firms. In just 21 months of regional operations with FloridaMakes/NIST, UWF achieved $118.2M in economic impact. Gislason's prior experience includes a Department of Labor $3.9M award to recruit, train and develop the workforce in a project known as Florida HireEd.
Gislason’s team operates a unique additive manufacturing laboratory, known as Sea3D. Housing state-of-the-art additive manufacturing equipment, the Sea3D lab provides a space for students, industry partners and community members to collaborate on the creation and printing of 3-D products.