APTS Recognizes Vegas PBS for the Vegas Virtual Online Education Initiative

WASHINGTON — April 4, 2011 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) recognized Vegas PBS, in Las Vegas, Nevada, today with a 2011 EDGE Award for Vegas Virtual Online Education, an online education and workforce development partnership forged to respond to the economic crisis in Southern Nevada. The EDGE Awards are presented annually to public television stations that use digital technology, groundbreaking partnerships and educational technologies to deliver innovative services to their communities.

Vegas PBS developed Vegas Virtual to utilize a variety of robust media delivery platforms, which provide critical online education and workforce development resources that respond to business needs or training gaps that exist in Nevada’s current economy. Vegas Virtual course offerings range from GED preparation to basic computing skills, and continuing education units for professional licensure to certification for newly evolving jobs such as solar panel installation/repair. Vegas Virtual uses online technology to strengthen the adult education and workforce development efforts of Vegas PBS by providing courses “on demand” and through “just in time” programming to enhance students’ professional advancement, job retention and job placement pursuits.

Vegas Virtual represents the best of what public television offers in service to communities across the country,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Combining Vegas PBS’s expertise in online education with strong local partnerships to train hundreds of people for better jobs in a changing economy is exactly the kind of essential public service which distinguishes public television from everything else in the media universe. Tom Axtell and his team are an inspiration to us all.”

“Nevada has the Nation’s highest unemployment rate,” said Tom Axtell, president and general manager of Vegas PBS. “Vegas PBS has taken our online expertise and applied it to job training programs to put Nevadans back to work.”

Vegas PBS is committed to providing Vegas Virtual in cooperation with state and local partners to assist in economic diversification and the development of a skilled workforce. Some key partners include: the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Nevada JobConnect, Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, Southern Nevada Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada Human Resources Association, the Nevada Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Nevada Development Authority, the Nevada Commission on Economic Development and all 13 of Southern Nevada’s approved WIA (Workforce Investment Act) Adult Training Providers.

Lynda Parven, Deputy Administrator of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said through Vegas Virtual, “Vegas PBS has added training capacity to the state’s workforce training system through the launch of Vegas Virtual Online Education. The State of Nevada, Employment Security Division is committed to continue use of Vegas PBS as a training vendor to enhance the occupational skills of job seekers in Nevada.”

Vegas PBS also allocated resources to developing public service announcements (PSA) for Southern Nevada’s Workforce Development Partners. John Ball, Executive Director of Nevada Workforce Connections, said: “Vegas PBS is committed to assisting the state in its mission to diversify its economic development base and has produced a promotional video to be used for marketing and promotion of Southern Nevada’s high school training programs.” The purpose of the PSAs is to drive the unemployed and businesses to specific programs and services offered through the State’s workforce development and training system and the branding of Vegas Virtual as a partner in this system. PSAs rotate randomly and run daily.

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct - in concert with member stations - advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides leadership and information to help our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.

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