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Annual Bio Conference is April 5-6

WORTHINGTON -- Experts in the fields of job training, renewable energy, biotech and farming will offer a diverse series of presentations and discussions during the annual two-day Worthington Bio Conference.

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Peterson

WORTHINGTON - Experts in the fields of job training, renewable energy, biotech and farming will offer a diverse series of presentations and discussions during the annual two-day Worthington Bio Conference.

 

The conference kicks off at 5 p.m. April 5. Ken Peterson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, will deliver keynote remarks, focusing on the state’s PIPELINE program, which helps employers provide job and skills training to its workers.

 

Robert Mitchell, founder of The Hemp Consortium in Tulsa, Okla., will follow with a discussion on the potential of industrial hemp, a cannabis plant that has uses in clothing, food, paper, plastics, biofuel and more. Minnesota approved 38 pilot programs allowing farmers to grow hemp in 2017.

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The conference will continue at 8 a.m. April 6. Thomas Tubon, biotechnology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will moderate a discussion with area employers on the subject of workforce development.

 

James Guenther, biotechnology professor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans, La. and Kevin Simpson, research scientist at New Orleans-based Autoimmune Technologies, will follow with a presentation on their employer-driven training program.

 

The conversation will shift to renewable energy, specifically solar, with a presentation from Fritz Ebinger - Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) Rural Energy Development Program Manager for the University of Minnesota Extension - and Mark Rathbun of Great River Energy.

 

Sandra Porter, president of STEM education firm Digital World Biology, will explain how Worthington can become a “powerhouse for bio business and value-added agriculture” in the region.

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After lunch, area students will talk about their expectations as they enter the labor market and what employers and communities can do to keep new graduates engaged and help them fulfill their career goals.

 

The conference is not only meant to be an interesting experience, but an event that can help area business owners, investors and leaders connect and build new relationships.

 

“It’s really about ‘what can we learn at the program to solve real-world problems,’” said Abraham Algadi, Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. executive director.

At the end of the event, attendees will have a chance to win door prizes, sponsored by Nobles County. A pre-conference social will take place on April 4 at 5 p.m. at the Historic Dayton Family House.

For more information, contact Algadi at 372-5515 or by email at invest@worthington-minnesota.com .

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