November 30, 2023, Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

November 30, 2023, Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Convening Center, Room B123
500 Technology Way, Florence, KY 41042
Thursday, November 30, 2023, 6:30 p.m.


  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance/Moment of Silence/Roll Call Chair John Baines called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. The board recited the Pledge of Allegiance and observed a moment of silence. Roll call was taken. The record will reflect that a quorum was present.

  2. Mission Moment
    Dr. Figueroa introduced Ruth Moore. She is Vice President at Trinseo, formerly Aristech Surfaces. She has had a long partnership with Gateway in various forms. She presented an acrostic of the word Gateway to illustrate her experience with the school.  

    G – grateful for partnership. Trinseo regards Gateway as a true partner in its workforce development.              

    A – agile. Aristech Advantage is an onboarding and training program that Gateway helped Trinseo develop and implement. Christi Godman is incredibly flexible and willing to design custom training. She helped create the onboarding program for Trinseo’s manufacturing employees that has been very successful. It has evolved and is now presented in newer versions.

    T – TRAINS grant made Advantage possible. KCTCS-TRAINS is a fund designated by the Kentucky General Assembly to help companies willing to invest in workforce development for their employees.

    E – Employees of Gateway and Education First Employer. Trinseo is one of the five certified Education First Employers with Gateway.  

    W – Workforce strategy and development. These are key to continuing success for Trinseo and the region.   

    A – Apprenticeship: Trinseo/Aristech program and Manufacturing Advisory Board

    Y – Why? Moore stated she believes in the mission and focus of Gateway and KCTCS. She joined the Gateway Foundation board this year. She thinks that Gateway is an amazing organization.

  3. Approval of Minutes – October 19, 2023 
    Chair Baines called for discussion about the draft minutes from the October 19, 2023, board meeting. There being none, he asked for a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was made by Larry Brown and seconded by Erik Hermes. The vote taken to approve the October minutes as presented was unanimous to approve.

  4. Committee Reports  There were no committee reports at this meeting.

  5. President’s Report (part 1)
    Dr. Figueroa introduced the beginning of the President’s report as a presentation by Janet Harrah from the Center for Economic Analysis and Development (CEAD) at Northern Kentucky University. Her presentation was “Supply and Demand for Skilled Labor - Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati MSA.” Her topics of discussion were the following:

    ·        Economic development measures and focuses on the top industries that are perceived to benefit an area or be in demand, while education applies to all careers/job fields and focuses on technical training for specific sectors.  

    ·        A primary challenge for the economic growth of the region based on this data will be a marked decrease in the rate of population growth. Workforce growth is likely to slow. The only way to continue to grow is to train and retrain the people who are not currently in the workforce.

    ·        Changes in the Kentucky labor force participation rate do not have clear causes or explanations. The data indicates that young people are entering the workforce later than in the past, many have left the labor force because of early retirement, job quitting or switching, and childcare services issues.

    ·        The difference between job openings and job growth rates, including explanations of net change, replacements, and total job openings.

    ·        Entry level job requirements vs education needed for advancement within a career. What skills will you need no matter what job you take?

    Discussion followed concerning the trailing impacts of people quitting before retirement age during the pandemic; a different attitude toward work by young people; remote work as a permanent part of a hybrid work environment and remote work preferences by age range; the immigration system; AI and future jobs; communicating and marketing college and other educational opportunities; use of “durable skills” terminology instead of “soft skills”; the timeframes and expectations of three groups don’t always align – employers, families/students, and educational organizations; and apprenticeship programs and dual credit are providing exposure to career fields for high school students.  

  6. Chairperson’s Report
    Chair Baines said there are predicted challenges to the economy through 2030 including a decrease in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increases in healthcare costs, increased debt, and uncertain interest rates. He cited a projection of a 15% decrease in industrial production, which local industries can’t easily offset. He said it is important for Gateway and businesses to look at where are the jobs going to be in the future and to be mindful of the dramatic needs in healthcare. Gateway should be leveraging partnerships and the Foundation to expand our capacity and look farther down the road in investing in programs and facilities.

  7. President's Report
    Dr Figueroa continued his President’s report by saying that Gateway has been focusing on partnerships in all areas of the community. There is growing awareness at all levels of the importance of data for strategic decision making.

    He introduced Paul Tontillo to give a fiscal year 2024 budget update. Tontillo said that credential seeking enrollment has increased by 5% over the last two semesters. State Work Ready funds are exhausted, and there will be no new applications for Work Ready scholarships for anyone not already applied for the spring semester. Most Gateway students have already applied, but the later enrolling students for the 8 and 10-week classes might be affected. That results in a $100K risk in the budget. Gateway has been tracking salary savings resulting from not all open roles being filled, and utilities costs have come in less than budgeted. Overall, Gateway is approximately $500K to the good with the budget. Bad debt is nearly $100K, which is close to the amount budgeted.  Some considerations around Work Ready funds were discussed, including education first employers who pay for tuition.

    Dr. Figueroa updated the board concerning open executive leadership positions at the college. He announced that Christi Godman is taking on the role of Chief Financial Officer with a title change to Vice President of Operations. She is hiring an Associate Vice President to focus on Workforce Solutions. A hiring committee is working to fill the Vice President of Development position.  

    Dr. Figueroa announced that Gateway was nominated to apply for the Aspen prize. The nomination is for the top 150 community colleges in the country. There are six KCTCS colleges nominated this year. Gateway is completing the application process.

  8. Adjournment
    Chair Baines called the meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.
    Secretary Signature on file 

Important Dates to Remember              

Board Meetings 2024

February 8
April 11 
May 23
September 5
October 24 - Annual Meeting
December 12

Commencement 2024 - May 9