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2012 October 1 - 12:00 am

TRACKING TRENDS : Ky. College To Offer Vet Tech Program

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Owensboro Community & Technical College is adding a two-year veterinary technology program next fall.

College officials say the program is needed due to a shortage of available workers in the field. President James Klauber told the Messenger-Inquirer that school officials will spend the next year developing a curriculum for the program, which is being funded through a $475,500 grant provided by the Multi-County Coal Severance Program.

In an application for grant funding, Klauber noted a 2010 Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet report that said demand for vet technologists and technicians is expected to rise by nearly 39 percent through 2018 and a survey that says local veterinarians are having trouble finding and keeping qualified techs.

Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said the vet tech addition felt appropriate for the community.

“Today, with resources being as scarce as they are, it behooves each and every one of us to work collaboratively and regionally to make these types of programs available to our citizens,” Mattingly said.

Gov. Steve Beshear, who attended a recent announcement about the program, said the program is an example of a good partnership between an educational institution and the workplace.

Beshear, whose son is a veterinarian, said he understands “the importance of these vet techs.”

Klauber said there’s also a shortage nationally due to a limited number of two-year programs.

The newspaper reports that currently only two in-state four-year universities offer vet tech programs — Morehead State University and Murray State University.

Klauber said while the curriculum is being developed, crews will renovate laboratories and classrooms at Owensboro Community & Technical College’s downtown campus, install surgical facilities, indoor/outdoor animal holds and more office space.

“We saw a need, and we acted on it,” Klauber said. “This is something I’m so proud of, something we really need.”

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