A longtime Ozarks Technical Community College leader has exited as the school reworks its Center for Workforce Development.
Sherry Coker, who was employed by OTC for 17 years, most recently as executive director of the CWD, announced in a public LinkedIn post that she "left to pursue my dream of owning my own consulting and training business."
OTC spokesperson Mark Miller declined to comment on Coker's exit, citing a policy regarding employee departures. He provided a statement indicating the CWD has been renamed as Workforce and Short-Term Training and will continue to provide employer-based customized training and short-term courses.
"OTC has worked to incorporate the CWD's offerings into the college's traditional academic units for several years," the statement reads. "This move creates cohesive tracks and stackable credentials for students allowing them to earn college credit for their efforts."
The statement further indicates that financial assistance for students was limited under the CWD.
"As credit-based courses, students can access federal and state financial aid, such as Pell Grants, Access Missouri and Fast Track," the statement reads. "With access to those federal and state financial tools, the Workforce and Short-Term Training courses are far more accessible and affordable for students. OTC hopes these changes allow more people to access these skill-building classes that can help students become job ready and increase the pool of qualified applicants for employers."
In the LinkedIn post this week, Coker said she's grateful for her time at OTC.
"I have made so many friends, worked on so many cool projects and positively impacted our community through the education and training courses we worked with our area employers to design and deliver to students," she said in the post.
Coker became the CWD director in 2018 when Jim Abramovitz retired, according to past reporting.
Her new company is called Coker Consulting and provides workforce education and training services.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.