Last updated: August 07. 2013 9:18AM - 768 Views
By Jack Latta

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PRESTONSBURG – Big Sandy Community and Technical college will be hosting an event in September which will examine the role of higher education in workforce development.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College will host the forum on the role of higher education in workforce development from 10:50 a.m. until 12:05 p.m. on Thursday, Sep. 12, in the Gearheart Auditorium in the Pike Building on the Prestonsburg Campus. The forum will feature Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, Kentucky’s former Secretary of Education Laura Emberton Owens, Kentucky Senator Ray S. Jones II, and BSCTC President George D. Edwards.

Author Victor Huge once remarked, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” Education is often the key to unlocking the talents of an individual, allowing that person to achieve economic security and social advancement. The challenge for Higher Education today is to adjust to the economic needs of a changing economy.

The attendee’s bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the public and private sectors, and should offer an interesting view into the role of higher education.

Prior to becoming Lt. Governor in 2011, Jerry Abramson served three terms as Mayor of Louisville (1986 – 1999) and two terms as the first Mayor of the consolidated Louisville – Jefferson County government (2003-2011) where he led efforts to help expand Louisville International Airport; helped to revitalize the city’s waterfront, and; expanded the economy by recruiting international firms like Yum! Brands to locate their headquarters to Louisville. Abramson is a graduate of Indiana University and he attended the Georgetown University Law School. As mayor, he

Fellow attendee, Laura Emberton Owens earned a B.A. and a M.A. in Communications from Western Kentucky University. In 2004 Owens entered state government as Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment. It was in this capacity that Owens oversaw the activities of the Office for Career and Technical Education. In September 2006, Governor Ernie Fletcher appointed Owens as Secretary of Education. She is presently President of Advancement Strategies, LLC.

Ray S. Jones II is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Louisville Law School. He has represented Johnson, Martin and Pike Counties in the Kentucky State Senate since 2001 where he serves on the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and on the subcommittee on Economic Development and Tourism.

Dr. George D. Edwards has served as the President and CEO of Big Sandy Community and Technical College since 2000. He brings wealth of experience to the forum with over 27 years of teaching and experience at four different community colleges in Virginia and Kentucky. He has He has represented Kentucky on the board of the Southern Association of Community and Technical Colleges since 2006.

The forum is free and open to the public.

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