How Our Community Colleges Support Economic Development

How Our Community Colleges Support Economic Development Main Photo

1 Oct 2020


The local community and technical college system plays a vital role in One East Kentucky’s business attraction strategy. “When One East Kentucky recruits companies to the area, we can sometimes provide training before the jobs are here and that helps with business attraction as well,” said Dr. Sherry Zylka, President and CEO of Big Sandy Community and Technical College and One East Kentucky board member. “Ultimately, it’s about creating opportunities for the people of East Kentucky. As we train the workforce for how to succeed in these jobs, we are making a difference in their lives and lifting them up.”

As a strategic partner, Big Sandy and other local colleges have been the lynchpin for helping to bring new businesses to the region. Take for example, the recent recruitment of Canadian aluminum company Dajcor. One East Kentucky traveled to Canada to meet with their leadership and present the advantages of having a U.S. location in East Kentucky. One of the regional assets they presented was the collaboration with local community and technical colleges. This helped to seal the deal for Dajcor. Of the training, MIke Kilby, President and CEO said, “Eastern Kentucky has excellent state-of-the-art fabrication training facilities within the area. They have a red-carpet approach to additional employee training and recruitment.” 

One East Kentucky understands the value of working with local partners and bringing them to the table. Businesses like Dajcor see this level of collaboration and it makes them confident that they will receive a high level of support from the entire community once here. “Business recruitment starts with relationships. One East Kentucky works to build and strengthen relationships both internally and with business prospects. By bringing them together we can get more done for the region,” said Chuck Sexton, President and CEO of One East Kentucky. 

Learn more about this important asset and the role that education plays in One East Kentucky’s business recruitment strategy.