Southwest Tennessee Community College

April 08, 2005

For more information contact: Pat O’Brien (901) 333-4021 / Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

Written by: Pat O’Brien

A small delegation with a big mission is headed for Memphis and Southwest Tennessee Community College to add American know-how to their already impressive credentials for marketing and economic development. The “secrets” they are pursuing are found in the wide-open marketing and workforce practices that drive American economic success.

Traveling under the auspices of the U.S. Congress’s Open World Leadership Center for Economic Development, the Russian delegation will arrive at Memphis International Airport Friday afternoon, April 15. Their goal is to examine ways in which education, government and the private sector meld efforts to achieve a synergistic effect on workforce and community dynamics that contribute to local, regional and national economic success.

The four delegates, traveling with a facilitator to help smooth travel bumps and linguistic difficulties, are staying with host families in Memphis. Southwest International Student Coordinator Debbie Hunt selected families active in international educational and cultural activities to host the delegation. “That will go a long way toward helping make their mission a successful one,” said Hunt. The group is among 1700 current and future political and civic leaders coming from Russia and other eligible countries during 2005.

Cultural activities will be scheduled around a whirlwind week of work sessions. “At lunchtimes and after 4:30 each afternoon, we’ll dig into the local culture and high spots,” said Hunt. “That includes restaurants, from typically southern to several sorts of ethnic, and choices of theater and museum, ballet and concert – and, of course, shopping.”

After a weekend of settling in, getting acquainted with their host families, and reveling in Southern hospitality, the group will begin Monday, April 18, with a session in Nashville at the Tennessee Board of Regents. Using Online Education as Means of Building an Educated Population to Meet the Needs of Growth in Industry is the topic, discussing the statewide online degree program and its specific relevance to economic growth in the state. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is the next stop for a discussion on Statewide Initiatives in Economic Development and Meeting the Challenges Associated with Development. It will include a discussion of current statewide initiatives and methods used to develop industrial and trade growth, along with the job training required.

The next day’s session with Southwest’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education department will discuss Meeting the Workforce Needs of the Community in a Growth Economy: a Community College’s Role in Training Development. Discussion leaders will go into detail about Southwest training programs designed to meet specific workforce needs. They will also focus on delivery and funding of services, altering workforce education to meet changing needs, and how the Southwest program is structured to deliver the services when and how needed. In a change of direction, the delegation will progress to Trezevant Manor Foundation for a session on Raising Funds in the Private Sector: The Role of a Development Office. The session will emphasize the dual roles of networking and public relations in successful fund-raising in the non-government sector.

Wednesday, Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce will sponsor two sessions: Achieving Industrial Growth in a River City: Local Initiatives; and Research by the Chamber and its Relationship to Economic Development. An overview of the city’s growth and industry will preview a discussion of the chamber’s role in local economic development, and the steps followed to attract new companies to the area. The afternoon session will explore the operations of the research arm of the chamber and how such research and accompanying feasibility studies underlie the success of economic initiatives.

The FedEx Institute at the University of Memphis will host Thursday morning’s session, Company-Sponsored Research in Technology. The institute conducts ongoing research for companies and other agencies. The session covers securing of research grants and the role of research in the growth of the local community. The afternoon session, at Southwest, covers Ongoing Contact with Industry: Meeting the Needs. It will be presented by the Career Placement and Workforce Development programs at Southwest. It will demonstrate how delegates can adapt the College’s experience and long history of workforce development and of placement assistance to their own situations, maintaining a pulse on industry trends to allow for “course corrections” in training programs as needed.

The final day of a whirlwind week will be devoted to a session with the Tennessee Department of Economic Development (TDED) – The function of the Local Office within a State Agency: Autocracy vs. Dependency, the Pulse of the Local Community; and the West Tennessee Historical Society and Memphis Heritage – The Role of the Historical Society in the Preservation of Local History: How Non-Profit Organizations Support Ongoing Projects. The session at the TDED Memphis office will detail how a local office of a state agency works with the state counterpart in a mutually constructive way while achieving successful independence. The importance of historical preservation to the cultural heritage is the focus of the afternoon session, with representatives of the two organizations explaining how such non-profits can support their goals and achieve project success thorough development programs and other fund-raising activities.

“Each year this seems to become a richer experience for our visitors both in the range and depth of their educational and business contacts and in the cultural ‘introductions’ opening for them”, said Hunt. “This is thanks in large part to their reception by local business and educational institutions. But I cannot over-emphasize the importance of our host families. They act as family and friend, and sometimes mentor to their visitors. That both adds to their experience and absorbs the glitches that can arise in international travel.” She added that Southwest is already planning for next year’s international visitors.

Members of Russian Delegation

Yelena Viktorovna Avdeychikova
Head of Commerce and Marketing Department
First trip to the U.S.
Outcome desired –
“I train specialists in commerce and marketing, provide guidance and analysis for commercial certification. I want to obtain U.S. experience in business administration, certification of managers and administrative specialists, and am interested in getting a better insight into activities of the U.S. Chamber of Industry and Commerce.”

Sergey Gennadyevich Novikov
Lecturer at Novorossiysk Institute of Human Sciences and Economics
First trip to the U.S.
Outcome desired –
“Being involved in my public activity in cooperation with different local authorities, I would like to know how the co-relations are functioning on different levels in the States, where public organizations are widely supported by governmental and non-governmental structures.”

Vasiliy Nikolayevich Ptitsyn
Workshops Trainer and Training Programs Manager
South Regional Resource Center/Krasnodar Region Community Organization
First trip to the U.S.
Outcome desired –
“Learn about various aspects of personnel development, visit educational and training centers for small-and medium-sized businesses. Also interested in communicating with specialists in the development of innovative education methods and programs developed for businesses and NGO personnel; get acquainted with higher education programs designed to prepare analysts, consultants and coaches in economic spheres.”

Maryet Stanislavovna Tlyunyayeva
Maykop State University of Technology
First trip to the U.S.
Outcome desired –
“I teach socio-economic disciplines at higher education institutions, lecture at Resource Business Center and Business Women’s Association, teach courses on economic development of the region: advertising in tourism, marketing, logistics and organizational management. I want experience of U.S. economic development strategies, which is essential for social and economic growth in my home region.”

Sergey Vladimirovich Kulygin
Manger of Marketing
Taydi-Kazan, a trade company
Has visited the U.S. previously
Facilitator of delegation