FRANKFORT – Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College, attended the State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, January 26 at the Kentucky State Capitol.
Dr. Stephenson was a guest of Senate Minority Leader Ray S. Jones. His wife, Judy, was a guest of Representative Chris Harris.
“I want to thank our legislators for their tireless efforts to bring opportunity to Eastern Kentucky,” he said. “Our legislators are people of influence within their respective chambers, but more importantly, they serve as ambassadors of purpose for the people of our region.”
In his short time at BSCTC, Dr. Stephenson has worked with lawmakers at all levels of government to advocate for the college. Last year, the college received more than $3.2 million in grants from the Economic Development Agency (EDA), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Community Development Block Grant to construct the state’s first Broadband Technology Center.
He spent most of his evening talking about the possibilities with lawmakers and administration officials.
“The funding of higher education, specifically community and technical colleges, is critical to the state remaining a leader in industries such as manufacturing, technology and agriculture,” he said. “If we want a world-class workforce, we must invest in community and technical colleges which are on the frontlines training and educating the workers of today and tomorrow.”
Dr. Stephenson said he still firmly believes that, despite the challenges facing lawmakers and the administration, eastern Kentucky’s best days are ahead of it.
“It’s about transforming our region one student, one opportunity and one challenge at a time,” he said.