Ashland Alliance

ACTC conference targets sophomores

COALTON, Ky. — A leadership conference for young men will bring several hundred area sophomores to Ashland Community and Technical College in early March to learn skills important for successful careers.

The first-ever Young Men’s Conference March 7 will feature local and national speakers who will share business and personal skills that led them to meaningful careers.

The event is modeled on the college’s successful Young Women Lead conference for high school junior girls, ACTC workforce solutions director Karen Coburn said. “The only complaint we’ve ever heard about Young Women Lead is, why aren’t we doing it for boys?”

Coburn outlined the agenda and goals of the conference Monday at the Ashland Rotary Club meeting. She also discussed ACTC’s March 10 Emerging Technologies Conference.

The Young Men’s Conference will feature learning sessions on financial competency decision making, social media, volunteerism, business startups, emerging technologies and others.

Organizers anticipate about 350 sophomores will attend, Coburn said. The conference targets sophomores rather than juniors because school officials believe boys need to hear its message at a younger age than girls, she said.

That is because educators say girls tend to be more on track educationally and that boys need to learn the importance of being academically prepared before they fall behind.

It is not unusual for ambitious young men to enroll at ACTC only to learn they don’t have prerequisites for the programs they want, Coburn said.

ACTC also will host the second annual Emerging Technologies Conference March 10, also at the EastPark campus.

“The Emerging Technologies Conference brings new technologies to the area and exposes students to them,” Coburn said. Among this year’s features are ACTC’s new telepresence robot, which has potential applications in medicine, and mechatronics, a multidisciplinary form of engineering that Coburn said “is changing the industrial landscape.”

Last year’s inaugural conference was more successful than expected; organizers hoped for 250 to attend and more than 350 showed up, she said.


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