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WKCTC President Meets Vice President Biden During Workforce Development Forum

VeazeyBidenWest Kentucky Community and Technical College President Barbara Veazey was one of four community college presidents to join Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and a 13-member panel June 4 in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues relevant to preparing a skilled workforce and providing the unemployed with the skills needed for new jobs in the future.

The half-day forum, hosted by Third Way, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy think tank, featured a detailed presentation by Vice President Biden and a moderated panel by Secretary Perez that focused on the future of Americas workforce and being prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century economy.

Following the Vice Presidents remarks, Secretary Perez joined Third Way and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Byron Auguste for a roundtable with Veazey and the other panelists to discuss their innovative ideas and best practices to match their local workforce to high-quality jobs.

After discussions with Secretary Perez and this group, I see the need for our college to include national credentialing in our academic programs and work harder to build apprenticeships with our partner organizations, Veazey said.

The forum was part of the Vice-Presidents project that will culminate with a workforce modernization and training report to the President. Third Way will subsequently prepare a white paper to the Vice President and Secretary Perez on the findings of the group and release its white paper publicly this summer.

Biden ForumIn addition to Veazey, panel participants were Ashwin Bharath Pushpanayagam, COO, Multivision, Inc.; Debra Shephard, President, Lake Area Technical Institute; Doris Gonzalez, Director, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs in the America, IBM Corporation; Earl Buford, President and CEO, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP; Edward Gordon, Founder and Owner, Imperial Consulting Corporation; Karen Sitnick, Director, Workforce Investment Board of Baltimore City; Maureen Conway, Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program, The Aspen Institute; Michael Callanan, Executive Director, National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry (NJATC); Patrick Cushing, CEO and Co-Founder, WorkHands; Rufus Glasper, Chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges; Shaila Ittycheria, Co-Founder, Enstitute; Steve VanAusdle, President, Walla Walla Community College; and William Hite, General President, The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.