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March 26, 2007

Department of Labor official to give keynote for Technology Week

Emily Stover DeRocco
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Emily Stover DeRocco, the assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor, will give the keynote address April 10 for Purdue College of Technology's Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series.

 DeRocco will speak at 3 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The title of her talk is "Maintaining America's Competitiveness in the 21st Century Global Economy: WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development)." There will be a brief question-and-answer session after her speech, which is free and open to the public.

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series is part of the College of Technology's first Technology Week, which is being held April 9-13. The theme of the week is Celebrating innovation. Imagining possibilities.

DeRocco will speak on the role that technology plays in society, the federal government's role in strengthening and growing work force development, and how educational institutions can work in partnership with regional, state and federal governments to ensure competitiveness in advanced manufacturing.

"Emily Stover DeRocco has spent her entire career working to transform the work force investment system to meet the challenges of the 21st century global economy," said College of Technology Dean Dennis Depew. "Approximately 17 percent of Indiana's jobs are in the manufacturing sector, so her talk will be relevant to a large segment of the population, but especially of interest to Purdue students, who will be the manufacturing leaders of the future.

"As our state continues to transform its work force to meet the needs of today, we

 are honored that Assistant Secretary DeRocco will be sharing her insights with our students and faculty on these important issues."

DeRocco has served as assistant secretary of labor for employment and training since 2001. She is responsible for managing the country's public work force investment system. Under her leadership, the Department of Labor has introduced a several initiatives to engage business, education and the work force system in developing the talent of America's workers. 

"Purdue University and the College of Technology are playing a critical role in the growth of Indiana's economy, particularly the north central Indiana economy," DeRocco said. "By heading the region's leadership group and educating the next generation of innovators, Purdue is demonstrating how a university can be a force for economic and talent development."

One of the main focuses of the Employment and Training Administration is to transform the way local and regional economies approach work force and economic development. Some of the programs that are helping to achieve this goal include the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, the Community-Based Job Training initiative and the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development Initiative, known as WIRED.

DeRocco previously served under Cabinet officers at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Energy during the Reagan administration. She also spent more than 10 years as the executive director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

DeRocco is a native of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and received her law degree from the Georgetown Law Center in 1982.

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998,

Sources: Dennis Depew, (765) 494-2552,

Michael T. O'Hair, associate dean for engagement, (765) 494-2554,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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