Umatilla County is bringing in a speaker to anchor a regional workforce summit in Pendleton in May.

The summit is the brainchild of the Umatilla County Leadership Academy, a professional development group comprised of 12 county managers with facilitation from Eastern Oregon Business Source.

According to Eastern Oregon Business Source President Susan Bower, the team began meeting in July with the task of carrying out a group project that would promote the county.

The managers settled on bringing in a speaker, and as they researched speakers and their costs, the group saw a video of Josh Davies.

Davies, the CEO of the Colorado-based Center for Work Ethic Development, has spoken at numerous workforce events, including a training for volunteers and service staff at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Luckily for the members of the academy, Davies was already conducting a training in Pendleton in May, and they were able to secure funding from the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners to have him stay an extra day for the workforce summit.

According to the members of the academy, they wanted to focus their efforts on both employees and employers to improve workforce retention in the area.

The Pendleton Convention Center summit will be split into three parts on May 23.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Davies will speak to youth and educators at no cost to the targeted audiences.

From 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce will co-host the second part of the summit where Davies will speak to business owners, community leaders, and managers. The $30 tickets must be purchased by May 8.

The last section from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. is targeted toward employees, workers, and the general public. The $15 tickets have the same May 8 deadline.

Information about the event, sponsorship opportunities, and tickets can be found at the Umatilla County Workforce Facebook page or the chamber of commerce.

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