Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Owensboro College Celebrates New President and 25th Anniversary

The Owensboro Community and Technical College celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Jim Klauber as the institution's fifth president as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the college's founding in Owensboro.

In reflection on this occasion, the founding of OCTC is easily the most important event in the last 25 in the Greater Owensbro region. It has raised education levels and contributed to the region's ability to be competitive in the face of significant changes impacting the global economy. Nearly all of these changes, from the growth of jobs in industries like health care and biotech to retention of jobs in declining industries in manufacturing, have been rooted in human capital.

OCTC has played a pivotal role in preparing Owensboro's human capital to navigate the changing economy with job training in every sector of the regional economy.

Since the consolidation of the community and technical colleges in 1997, enrollments at OCTC have increased significantly, to over 6,000 students. There is no better tool to improve the workforce and economic development of a community than a strong community college—and we have one of the best.

From the enrollment of high school students through the Discover College program to the customized business and industry training delivered to area businesses, OCTC demonstrates why a strong comprehensive community college and programs such as the Advanced Technology Center are key to the future progress and prosperity of Owensboro.

The community college movement has been called the Ellis Island of our time. It provides the same hope for the future that the shores of our great country provided immigrants of a century ago.

Like so many things that happen in Owensboro, the citizens of the community were slow to embrace this movement and many even fought it.  To those leaders who fought to create this beacon of hope and those who continue their legacy today, I say thank you for showing us the power of transforming a community.

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