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WKCTC organizes group for fact-finding mission to South Carolina; focus on economic development

More than 20 city and county officials, educators, and community and business leaders will leave Paducah early on March 28 on a chartered bus, embarking on a two-day, fact-finding trip to Greenville, S.C.

The trip, organized by West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is one part of a two-part initiative the college has launched to compliment not only Paducah/McCracken County’s economic development efforts, but also the 10-county service region WKCTC serves. Part of WKCTC’s mission is to support economic development, which it strives to do through community partnerships and customized training to meet the changing needs of business and industry.

Dr. Anton Reece (left), president of WKCTC, and Kevin O’Neill (right), vice president of workforce training and economic development. (WKCTC photo)

“Ongoing economic development is important to our region and state,” said WKCTC President Anton Reece. “The road trip provides an opportunity for business, economic and education leaders to meet with their peers and gain insight into best practices in one of the fastest growing economic development sectors in the country.”

In addition to elected city and county officials and representatives from businesses and civic organizations, the group included secondary and post-secondary educators, young professionals in the 20-40 age range, and others.

Kevin O’Neill, vice president of workforce training and economic development at WKCTC, said the purpose of the trip is to learn how the Greenville/Spartanburg area has been successful in enjoying the significant growth they have experienced over the years.

“The group will meet with many of their counterparts to find out what works, what didn’t, and take away best practices that can be used back home,” O’Neill said. “Having the opportunity to visit other areas of the country and dialog with those that have faced many of the same challenges we face is priceless, and can help us be successful in overcoming similar challenges.”

WKCTC’s second initiative will be the hosting of an Economic Development Symposium April 18 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Congressman James Comer and other elected state officials will be attending the symposium.

Keynote speaker will be Bob Quick, president/CEO of Commerce Lexington, the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Danny Murphy, assistant dean of community engagement & diversity at the University of Kentucky, will speak and lead a panel discussion. Other panel discussions on specific topics will take place during the day. The group from the Greenville road trip will also share what they learned.

O’Neill said WKCTC invites any business/industry representative to attend this free event. “Mark your calendar now,” he said, “You won’t want to miss this event.”

Seating is limited. Call O’Neill at 270-534-3206 to reserve your seat today.

From West Kentucky Community and Technical College

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