Better Lives for a Better Community Forum

June 12, 2019
by Brady Shultz

MCTC President Host’s Better Lives for Better Community Forum

Maysville, KY – Maysville Community and Technical College President Dr. Stephen Vacik welcomed leadership from area school districts and business
and industry for a round table discussion on June 12 at the Fleming County Hospital Boardroom.

The Better Lives for a Better Community Forum was designed to allow open dialogue about common issues and brainstorm how MCTC might better serve its community partners when helping to improve student pathways to regional employment.

“Our college, as well as the region, is fortunate to have such committed stakeholders in education, business and industry and workforce development,” says MCTC President, Dr. Stephen Vacik. “Conversations which began today will continue in the days ahead, helping to provide new strategies and solutions in our effort to develop a well-educated, well trained workforce that is required to meet the needs of a perpetually shifting economy.”

The forum also provided Vacik the opportunity to discuss findings from a recent fact-finding trip to Germany. He and Dr. Phil Neal, President of Southcentral KY Community and Technical College, were participants in a group invited to learn more about how the German apprenticeship model of career-technical education works and how it could be adapted to help remedy the needs of Kentucky’s workforce.   

“Apprenticeships, in both the craft and service vocations, are the perfect vehicles to bring together theoretical knowledge and practical training for our citizenry,” Vacik added. “And no one is better at career education through apprenticeships than Germany.  In researching their educational model - as well as observing it personally - I marveled at the opportunities provided and benefits earned, as well as outcomes required, from fifteen and sixteen-year old apprentices.  From my visit, I gained a real admiration for German vocational education; I also came away with the realization that our state and nation should be emulating many of their best practices. Education, business and industry and the state must work together and think a bit differently to see the number of apprenticeships grow proportionally to address the declining numbers within our workforce.  We should expect more for, and from, our young people.  Change is not swift or easy but is necessary to continue building better lives for a better Kentucky.” 

Looking ahead, the group has decided to take the forum conversation back to their respective organizations and discuss their findings internally. Next they plan to create multiple workgroups that will focus on specific stages of workforce readiness and meet regularly to evaluate their progress.  

For more information, contact Brady Shultz at 606-759-7141, extension 66519.

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