By Amanda Dyslin
---- — NORTH MANKATO — South Central College President Annette Parker has been appointed to serve on a panel that was established by President Obama as part of a continuing effort to build U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
Officially launched last week, the 21-member Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee's main focus is maintaining U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies, which are expected to create high-quality manufacturing jobs. The committee is the “2.0” version, building on the work of a former committee formed in 2011.
Committee members include academic, labor and industry executives. The co-chairs are Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical; and Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I was honored,” Parker said. “We have so much manufacturing in the south-central community that (I knew) it was going to be beneficial for our students and our community overall.”
Parker is bringing in various community members, college and university representatives and others to be involved in the conversation. She will then bring that feedback to the committee, which will function as a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Working closely with the White House’s National Economic Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Commerce, the group will “scale promising manufacturing workforce innovations and partnerships, and identify new, concrete strategies for securing the nation’s competitive advantage in transformative early-stage technologies,” according to a news release.
Parker said she's excited to leverage her prior work experience for the benefit of the community. She said her position will help open opportunities for students and secure the funding needed to bring those opportunities to fruition.
Before coming to SCC since July, Parker was executive director of the Kentucky Community and Technical College system. She was also director of the National Center of Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing and Workforce Education.
In a statement, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said that Parker's leadership position also helps to keep Minnesota on the leading edge of emerging technologies.
“This tremendous honor is powerful evidence of Dr. Parker’s nationally recognized expertise,” said Rosenstone in the statement. “Our collaboration with industry and continued focus on student success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are helping to advance Minnesota’s manufacturing capabilities.”