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Brazoria County
Inaugural Horizon Technologies Summer Symposium
News Release
Saturday, May 23, 2009

Symposium focuses on future of Texas’s workforce development

As Texas faces rapidly evolving technology, expanding global markets and fiscal challenges, workforce development must rapidly evolve as well if businesses, organizations and governmental entities are to prosper and maintain an edge in the services and products they provide.

To address these issues, Texas State Technical College (TSTC), in partnership with Alvin Community College, will host the Inaugural Horizon Technologies Summer Symposium on June 4 at the Pearland Center.

The all-day event will focus on workforce development for Texas’s new energy economy, wind energy and generating new life in west Texas, supporting workforce development for bio and nanotechnologies, virtual world education and teaching on the “2N Curve,” and developing actions based on current and future needs.

“Our nation’s education dropout crisis poses a significant threat to economic growth and competitiveness,” TSTC Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Advancement Michael Bettersworth, who is a featured speaker at the symposium, said. “Nationwide, 7,000 students drop out of high school every day and one in every four students leaves college before completing sophomore year.”

“Employers can no longer afford to hire and train dropouts and are more likely to go where skilled labor already exists,” he added. Bettersworth said it is necessary to “rethink and restructure our approach to education in light of this understanding, in terms of courses, awards, and the definition of student success.”

According to Jim Brazell, a technology forecaster and president of VentureRamp, Inc. who is another featured guest speaker at the event, the focus in college workforce programs has shifted to how people and their education financial investment can meet immediate industry and family needs.

“In other words, how can we accelerate skill acquisition so people are aligned to medium to high paying jobs quickly?” he stated. “We’re in a ‘tough times/good jobs’ environment; although the economy is bad, there are a lot of good jobs available, but they require high skills.”

Brazell said TSTC addresses these needs by providing individuals in need of a career with high skills training and industry in need of highly trained employees.

“TSTC is shifting to a workforce intensive strategy,” he stated. “It looks at the demand side and where people are and how to get them there.”

Instead of training groups of people at the same rate and level, TSTC adapts to the training needs of each individual by building onto the knowledge and experience they already possess.

Guest speakers at the symposium will also include District 29 Texas Representative Randy Weber, Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Senior Scientist Kathleen M. Rosendahl-Garcia, TSTC Vice President of Innovative Solutions William Thompson, TSTC Wind Energy Technician Program Chair Dan Templeton and ACC Continuing Education Workforce Development Program & Curriculum Development Director Dr. Arthur “Pete” Linkins, III.

The Inaugural Horizon Technologies Summer Symposium will be held 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $145 per person or $75 per person if two or more register together. Lunch and snacks will be provided. For more information or to register, call (281) 756-3900. The Pearland Center is located at 2319 N. Grand Blvd.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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