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Education and Industry Summit comes April 18

Educators and employers will come together in the first-ever “Columbia Gorge Education and Industry Summit,” April 18 on The Dalles Campus of Columbia Gorge Community College.

The mission of this bi-state event is “Industry Understands Education; Education Understands Industry.” CGCC, Clark College, Oregon State University, Washington State University, other public and private institutions, industry representatives, Oregon and Washington school administrators, early childhood educators and regional economic development professionals are working together in planning the summit.

Keynote speakers are OSU President Dr. Ed Ray and Dr. Mel Netzhammer, chancellor of WSU Vancouver campus. Expert panels will address education and training, economic development and private industry.

“Columbia Gorge Community College has provided cooperative business and industry training with our workforce and education partners from Washington,” said Suzanne Burd, CGCC’s continuing education coordinator. “The summit will allow us to cast a wider net to the education and business communities.”

“The summit will give us a chance to explore opportunities and challenges for education and industry needs for the region,” said Linda Williams of Washington State University Extension in Klickitat County.

“Our region’s economy requires a skilled workforce,” added Mary Kramer, director of career and technical education at CGCC. “To help meet that demand, educators need a clear understanding of those skills; the summit will foster critical dialogue with employers.”

In addition to the panels, working groups will be formed around key issues; an informal networking reception will follow.

Private employers, early childhood and K-12 administrators, instructors and counselors are encouraged to participate. To register, visit cgcc.edu/gorgesummit.

The summit is one of several activities arising from a 2012 series of forums called “Stronger Economies Together,” organized by Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and USDA Rural Development. The forums identified barriers to economic growth. For details, visit mcedd.org.

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