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Higdon appears on New York NPR program

By Steve Koehler

OTC President Hal Higdon told an audience of more than 1.5 million listeners in the New York, Baltimore and Boston areas recently that the college is retraining thousands of students who are looking for a new career.

Higdon appeared this week on a segment of  “The Takeaway,” a radio program originating from WNYC, the largest National Public Radio station in the country. Higdon participated in a discussion about retraining displaced workers in a down economy.

The president was invited on the show following Gov. Joy Nixon’s visit to OTC last week to see some of OTC’s retraining efforts.

Higdon was interviewed by the show’s host John Hockenberry and program contributor Beth Kobliner. The program airs in New York City, Boston, Baltimore and much of the East Coast.

“Out of 13,000 students at OTC, at least half are involved in technical or allied health programs designed to get them to work within a 24-month period,” Higdon told the audience.

Hockenberry said that nationally there has been an emphasis on training workers for green jobs and Higdon pointed out that at OTC, there is ongoing green training in the areas of HVAC, energy auditing and construction trades along with other areas that support green jobs.

Higdon added that displaced workers are happy to come to OTC for retraining.

“We have that happening a great deal. These are typically workers from low-skill jobs who need a GED,” he said.

Higdon said prior to the show’s airing that the issue of retraining workers is that community colleges are willing to tackle.

“There’s been a change in attitude in the value of the community college,” Higdon said.

The podcast is available at home page. Click on the “OTC on NPR” button on the right.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at



College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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