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U.S. assistant secretary of commerce to deliver keynote at Appalachian Ohio State of the Region

Registration now open for fourth annual free conference


April 21, 2015

Jay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, will address the theme, “Manufacturing Workforce: Building Capacity,” in his keynote presentation at the Fourth Annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on May 12, 2015 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Appointed by President Obama, Williams leads the federal economic development agenda with the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.

He has a strong background in the manufacturing sector. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Williams served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. In this capacity, he worked directly with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to deliver federal support to ensure they returned to better economic condition.

“We are honored to have Jay Williams serve as keynote speaker for our State of the Region event. As a native Ohioan and former mayor of Youngstown, Mr. Williams can draw the connections between national policy initiatives and their impact on local communities here at home,” Dr. Jason Jolley, assistant professor of economic development and Master of Public Administration director, said.

The conference will be an opportunity for business owners and organizations throughout the area to network with local and state officials, economic developers, educational leaders and manufacturers in the region. Registration is no charge for the one-day conference; however, space is limited so participants should register as soon as possible.

“The State of the Region conference will provide critical information on workforce trends impacting regional and state manufacturing businesses and their suppliers. Attendees will learn more about how manufacturers and economic development professionals are building collaborative partnerships to address skill shortages among the workforce,” Jolley concluded.

The EDA University Center at Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs provides the event through the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.  To register, visit www.ohio.edu/voinovichschool and click on “Register Now.” For additional information, contact Trenia Twyman at 740.597.1460 or twyman@ohio.edu.