Quarles visits SKCTC, strengthens commitment to enrollment and workforce development

Published 11:52 am Thursday, April 11, 2024

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Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) welcomed Dr. Ryan Quarles, president of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS), for an insightful visit to the Harlan Campus on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

During his visit, Dr. Quarles engaged with faculty, staff, and students, immersing himself in the dynamic learning environment of SKCTC’s Harlan Campus. He toured various facilities, including the mock mine, automotive technology, welding, HVAC, machining, carpentry, nursing, and medical assisting classes. Dr. Quarles also met with a student who recently secured employment at Solid Steel in Middlesboro, KY, underscoring the college’s commitment to preparing students for successful careers and emphasizing the importance of workforce development.

In addition to the campus tour, Dr. Quarles delivered an insightful presentation in the Harlan Campus theater, discussing strategies to enhance enrollment and facilitate student transitions into the workforce. The interactive session saw lively discussions and questions concerning the college’s trajectory, highlighting the collaborative efforts between SKCTC and KCTCS to further education and economic development in Southeast Kentucky.

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Dr. Quarles further engaged with public leaders, including the Judge Executives from Harlan and Bell counties, State Senator Johnnie Turner, State Representative Adam Bowling, as well as representatives from the Southeast Education Foundation, and the SKCTC Board of Directors. The collaborative discussions reaffirmed the commitment of all stakeholders to advancing education, workforce development, and community engagement in Southeast Kentucky.

During his visit, Dr. Quarles also met with students in the medical assisting program, gaining insights into their educational experiences and career aspirations. Their discussions underscored the importance of quality healthcare education in meeting the region’s workforce needs.

Reflecting on his visit, Dr. Quarles expressed gratitude for the warm welcome received from the Harlan community and reiterated his dedication to working collaboratively with SKCTC to enhance student success, affordability, and community impact.