Tuesday August 19, 2003
Mayor Jerry Abramson is announcing tonight that he is naming a Mayor’s Liaison for Workforce Development and Education to work with business, education, and government on increasing educational attainment levels and connecting more people to good jobs and careers.
Dan Ash, Executive Director of Metropolitan College, has been given partial funded leave by his employers to take on the additional liaison role. The announcement is scheduled to be made tonight at KentuckianaWorks’ “Excellence in Workforce Achievement Awards” dinner at The Olmsted.
“Dan has been immensely successful in bringing Metropolitan College from an idea to a national model of creative collaboration,” Abramson said. “Our community’s most pressing need is to improve the education and skill level of our workforce, so that Louisville can compete and prevail in the knowledge-based economy. Dan will bring his considerable skills in developing partnerships and practical solutions to this task.”
The appointment of Ash is one of a number of steps that Abramson is using to address what the Brookings Institution has characterized as Louisville Metro’s top challenge – to “build an educated and skilled workforce that can compete and prevail in the knowledge economy.” That challenge, and others confronting Louisville Metro, were outlined in the Brookings Institution report, Beyond Merger.
In his liaison role, Ash will chair a collaborative Workforce Education initiative representing top staff of business, government, and education organizations active in workforce development. Members include numerous postsecondary education institutions, Greater Louisville Inc., KentuckianaWorks, Jefferson County Public Schools, the Louisville Urban League, Kentuckiana Metroversity, and Metro government.
Goals of the group include setting community benchmarks for educational attainment, developing a clearinghouse for workforce/education information, and marketing the importance of lifelong learning.
Metropolitan College was launched to meet UPS workforce needs with a partnership of UPS and Louisville Metro, the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community and Technical Colleges, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Abramson said Ash’s liaison role will complement – and enhance – the work and progress being made by KentuckianaWorks, the city’s workforce development and education arm.
“Louisville needs to embrace a new vision of a better educated, higher skilled community if we’re going to prosper in the future,” Ash said. “We need a workforce development system where duplication and gaps are minimized and cooperative partnerships are maximized.”
Ash holds a doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Louisville. As Executive Director of Metropolitan College since its launch in 1998, he has established the college as a national, award-winning model that helps college students coordinate their education and careers. Ash previously held faculty appointments at the University of Louisville and Jefferson Community College, and was Director of Planning and Quality at JCC before assuming his Metropolitan College post. He also served as a consultant on training and strategic planning to a wide variety of businesses across the country, and currently chairs the Midwest Governors Conference workgroup on Enhancing Education and Workforce Skills.