David “Tony” Michael has been named as the program director of the West Virginia University Extension Service Community, Economic and Workforce Development program after a nationwide candidate search.
Serving as faculty for more than 14 years and acting as the leader of the WVU Extension Institute for Labor Studies and Research for eight years, Michael said he is excited to step into the expanded role and draw upon his previous experience to grow WVU Extension programs and outreach further.
“The program is really unique as it encompasses a wide variety of professionals and has the potential to positively change the lives of West Virginians in each and every community,” he said. “My vision is to integrate our programs within other areas of Extension – by doing so, we’re going to be able to make a tremendous, comprehensive and visible impact in the lives of our state’s residents and communities.”
WVU Extension Service Dean Steve Bonanno echoed Michael’s sentiment.
“As a land-grant university, our focus is outreach and measurably improving what West Virginians do through our expert, research-based knowledge and advice,” said Bonanno. “The Community, Economic and Workforce Development programs play an integral role — they improve individuals through lifelong learning, provide communities with expert guidance and advance industry by empowering workers.”
Examples of these programs include the Junior Firefighter Camp, which gives youth hands-on training to inspire the next generation of firefighters and emergency responders; Occupational Safety and Health Administration training for the labor force in the state; the Community Leadership Academy that fosters and enhances the leadership of West Virginia; and collaborations that improve labor and management relations.
According to Michael, that’s only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
“I plan on meeting with all of our Extension leadership and program unit faculty to cultivate a direct relationship so we can build a vision together – one that’s not mine nor theirs, but ours collectively,” he said. “We’ve got a wide range of unique tools at our disposal, and ultimately West Virginians win through increased individual access to knowledge and having a strong, supportive community around them to improve where they live and work.”
Originally hailing from Talcott in Summers County, Michael is also a WVU alumnus, earning his master’s in English from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and his juris doctor from the College of Law.
Michael’s appointment begins July 1.
The WVU Extension Service is a primary outreach division of West Virginia University. With offices in each of the state’s 55 counties, Extension faculty and staff develop and deliver programs in leadership, rural and community-based economic development, youth development, workforce development and health education.
To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit www.ext.wvu.edu, or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.
CONTACT: Zane Lacko, WVU Extension Service
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