About Peter Hartzell


I'm Peter Hartzell. I'm an independent researcher and consultant focusing on understanding and contributing to concrete solutions to the United States' Skill Gap problem.

For 12 years I owned and, with my sleeves rolled-up, led a small specialty contractor/service business in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company, Bay Cities Automatic Gates, now part of A&D Automatic Gate and Access, designs, installs, services and maintains automatic vehicle gate systems. These systems include fencing, phones, access control, cameras and visitor management software….as well as the gates and the motors that move them. I employed 16 people. Most of them were in the field doing the hard work of installing and servicing our clients' equipment. Being "in the trades" I also worked closely with contractors performing the electrical, masonry, fencing, landscaping, paving work associated with our projects. Our customers were high-end homeowners, homeowners' associations, general contractors, government departments and commercial businesses.

For the 13 years prior to Bay Cities Automatic Gates I worked for Cummins, the multinational American engine and power generation business headquartered in Columbus, Indiana. At Cummins I held a variety of managerial positions in and around the plants and service locations where Cummins produces and services engines and generators.

My work now is to take what I learned as a business person and apply it to a critical business and societal challenge in America today: How do we close the skills gap?

Before I decide how I can be helpful in this work, I am stepping back to consider the many factors which contribute to the problem; initiatives underway; and successful programs in place which are chipping away at this challenge. This website/blog are my on-going research findings.

I grew up and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I received a BS from Tufts University and MBA/MPPM from SOM (the School of Management) at Yale University.