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March 20, 2017 | Tom Ballard

Community college entrepreneurship summit coming to Knoxville


By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Community college leaders from around the region will be in Knoxville late next week for a regional symposium co-sponsored by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

The event, titled “Leveraging Assets in Your Local Community to Promote Economic Development,” will be hosted March 30 and 31 by Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) at its Hardin Valley campus.

“We’re honored to lead the discussion of innovations in workforce and economic development in East Tennessee,” PSCC President Anthony Wise, Jr. said. “Pellissippi State has a long history of partnerships with local industry that creates educated graduates who bring relevant training and critical thinking skills to their careers and thus positively shape our community.”

There’s a pre-summit event for early arrivals on March 29 at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

The main programming begins the next morning with a keynote presentation on the “Drive to 55” initiative by Randy Boyd, former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. Other program elements include breakout sessions as well as a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.

“This summit, which is open to all regional educators, serves as a springboard for infusing entrepreneurship as an engagement strategy among faculty and administrators,” Rebecca Corbin, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACCE, said. “It also offers many actionable and creative ways for attendees to leverage community assets to generate funding for projects, more effectively access federal grant dollars for programs, and advance K-12 partnerships with community colleges that advance local economic development goals.”

Joining Wise as a host President is Chris Whaley, President of Roane State Community College.

“The first ARC Summit was held in November 2016 in Prestonsburg, KY and our goal was to offer a resource rich event in another part of the Appalachian region,” Leah Deppert, NACCE Manager of Marketing & Communications, said. “Knoxville is fairly easy to access and has active engagement of two community colleges – Pellissippi State and Roane State.”

Click here to review the full agenda.

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