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Jay Lester brings a military and law enforcement background to his new position at Southern WV Community & Technical College. He is now serving as workforce development director.

FORT GAY — Southern WV Community & Technical College’s new workforce development director is bringing with him a military and law enforcement background.

Jackie “Jay” Lester was raised in Wyoming County. He graduated from Concord College and then began his career in the military. Lester served as staff sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. He was named the Brigade NCO of the Year.

Lester joined the West Virginia State Police in 1995 and was assigned to the Logan Detachment upon graduating from the Academy. During his career in the West Virginia State Police, he served as the detachment commander and later the coordinator for the Task Force. He retired from the State Police in July of this year and took the position of director of workforce development at SWVCTC.

Lester has lived in Logan County for the past 26 years. He and his wife, Shawn have a total of six children, four of whom are daughters of Southern.

Lester says he appreciates the family atmosphere Southern provides.

“Everyone has extended a helping hand to me in this role. We work as a team to make sure each student is in the best position to succeed in life,” he said.{span id=”docs-internal-guid-fe93d20e-7fff-33bb-c6a0-3ef8ea3b6a36”}{/span}

Lester says he is proud of his accomplishments so far. “I helped launch the Electrical Lineworker Program in Williamson and the CDL program.”

As for the future, Lester says he would like to develop an HVAC program and a plumbing program at the local college. He also says he would like to see Early College Academy be implemented in trade schools and allow students to obtain a degree in their program of choice.

“The programs Lester will implement at Southern will further strengthen our commitment to our regional workforce by developing candidates that employers want and need,” said President Dr. Pamela Alderman. “Businesses today are hungry for a talented and motivated workforce, and we look forward to collaborating with our community’s employers to provide students with opportunities that will jumpstart their careers.”

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at 304-307-2401.

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