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ARC Fall Conference to Focus on Workforce Strategies for the Future

October 2008


WASHINGTON, October 1, 2008—The Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) annual conference, Tomorrow's Workforce: Strategies for Appalachia's Future, will be held October 22–23 at the BancorpSouth Conference Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Economic and regional developers, educators, business leaders, local government officials, interested citizens, and the media are invited to attend the conference and explore how to meet Appalachia's changing workforce needs.

In a joint statement, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope said, "Competing in today's global economy requires higher technological skill levels than ever before. This conference will help you create training and educational programs to ensure that Appalachia meets that challenge. Workforce development experts and professionals will guide you in exploring strategies to accommodate the changing business requirements and demographics in Appalachia and develop its workers' full potential."

Speaker Dennis C. Cuneo, senior advisor to Toyota Motor North America on site selection, will discuss Toyota's decision to locate a new facility in northeast Mississippi and the role the region's workforce and workforce development system played in that decision.

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and U.S. Congressman Travis Childers will also speak at the conference.

Conference sessions will focus on raising levels of educational attainment, developing programs for both traditional and emerging workforce needs, determining the needs of employers, and the realities of a diverse workforce.

Each of the 13 Appalachian states has scholarship funds available to defray transportation costs for community members who may not otherwise be able to attend. For more information about this financial assistance, contact ARC at (202) 884-7721.