Glasgow, Ky. – Leslie Witty will become the first project manager for a new Learn and Earn program at Western Kentucky University.
Witty is currently the program manager for Career and Workforce Development in the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach at WKU. The Learn and Earn Program is one piece of a larger workforce education project called Kentucky’s EDGE (Economic Development, Growth, and Education).
“This is a major step in the development of what will become a tremendous economic development driver for the region,” said WKU Glasgow Chancellor Dr. Sally Ray, “and I can’t think of a better person to oversee its implementation than Leslie. Her expertise and experience were major factors in her selection. She is well known in the region and well respected, so we are delighted to have her join us at WKU Glasgow.”
Working with a national consultant, Dr. Ray, along with Dan Iacconi, the Executive Director of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial and Economic Development Authority, Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty and Barren County Judge-Executive Michael Hale, worked with area legislators and WKU administrators to develop the Kentucky’s EDGE project.
This multi-dimensional project includes three components. The first, Learn & Earn, is a program that provides educational and financial opportunities for college students while simultaneously broadening the labor pool. The second, Project Paragon, is a process that identifies employer skill and abilities requirements. The third component, Instructional Responsiveness, provides educational programming and workforce readiness training programs for current and future employees in the region.
Witty, who is the first of three staff assigned to the program, will oversee the staff and all aspects of the program’s implementation. She said she is excited about the opportunity to become a part of something she views as very special.
“I am excited to join Dr. Ray and the WKU Glasgow campus, as we work to meet the needs of area employers,” Witty said. “My commitment to education and workforce training over the past 25 years comes from my passion for this region. This is my home, and I want to make sure we are meeting the needs of those companies that employ members of our families, our friends and our neighbors. At the same time, as a university, we must make sure we are providing opportunities for our students to learn and grow in the workplace, as well as the classroom. So, this is very exciting for me, and I’m honored to become a part of something very special at WKU Glasgow.”
Witty, who is originally from Cave City, graduated from Caverna High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Allied Language Arts and a Masters of Arts in Communication from WKU. She was a high school teacher, coach and administrator in Warren County before becoming a trainer for WKU Career and Workforce Development (CWD). While there, she created and delivered a number of soft skill courses and programs, primarily within the manufacturing industry. In her current role as the Program Manager for CWD, Witty develops and manages career training and workforce development opportunities for individuals, businesses and industries in the region. She will begin her new duties Jan. 4.
For information about Learn and Earn, visit www.wku.edu/learandearn.