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WACCT hosts first-ever Wyoming Summit on Community Colleges

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The summit will feature an address by Gov. Matt Mead, student and industry panel discussions and a session on improving college completion rates.
The Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees (WACCT) has scheduled the first-ever Wyoming Summit on Community Colleges for Nov. 2 at Little America in Cheyenne. Gov. Matt Mead will deliver a keynote address at the Summit.
Modeled after a series of White House summits held around the country earlier this year, the inaugural Wyoming Summit focuses on the role Wyoming’s community colleges play – and the challenges they face – in preparing a well-trained workforce.

“We’ve invited lawmakers, educators, state officials, the University of Wyoming, and industry partners to participate in this important conversation because the challenges we face, and the solutions we’ll develop, will require truly broad-based partnerships,” said Steve Bahmer, executive director of the WACCT.

Wyoming’s community colleges serve more than 25,000 students each year in multiple ways: preparing students for transfer to universities, providing lifelong learning and cultural enrichment opportunities, and preparing students to be competitive in a global workforce. As such, the community colleges are an essential component of Wyoming’s postsecondary education options, and are the primary pipeline for the preparation of skilled employees in the state.

The nature of the job market for which the colleges are preparing students has changed dramatically, Bahmer said, explaining by 2018, 63 percent of jobs nationally will require some form of postsecondary degree or certificate. About 62 percent of all jobs in Wyoming will require some postsecondary training by 2018, he said, adding at current postsecondary completion rates, both Wyoming and the nation will struggle to provide the educated workforce that is necessary to fill those jobs.

In addition to the Governor’s address, the Summit features a presentation from Rick LaPlante, a former Microsoft executive and now a trustee at Northwest College in Powell. His presentation, “Preparing Students for 2018 and Beyond,” sets the stage for a student panel discussion, an industry panel discussion, and a session focused on improving the colleges’ completion rates.

The Summit is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Little America in Cheyenne. Participants can register by visiting and downloading the registration form from the home page.

About the WACCT
The Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees, a membership organization of Wyoming’s 49 community college trustees, is dedicated to promoting the continued quality, strength, vitality and effectiveness of Wyoming’s community colleges.

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