ASHLAND – “Education as an economic driver” is one of four panel discussions scheduled for the third Lake Superior Technology Conference, to be held Aug. 6-7 in Ashland. The conference is being produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council, the Wisconsin Innovation Network Lake Superior Chapter and other Lake Superior region partners.

Lake Superior region campuses stimulate the economy through collaborative grants, academic projects and other initiatives.  But how do they fare when it comes to offering students the degrees and certificates they need to compete for jobs in today’s economy?  This panel will examine the opportunities that spur regional higher education leaders and the challenges they must overcome.

The panelists are Paul Chase, campus executive officer and dean, UW-Barron County; Rick Fairbanks, provost, Northland College; Faith Hensrud, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, UW-Superior; and Ted May, divisional dean of general studies, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

“The communities best positioned to prosper in the ‘Knowledge Economy’ of the 21st century are those with a range of options for educating and training workers,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “Northwest Wisconsin has a unique advantage, especially when compared to many largely rural regions around the United States, when it comes to educational resources that can help drive economic growth.”

The conference will be held on the WITC campus, 2100 Beaser Ave. in Ashland. Other panel discussions throughout the day will cover:

-    Eco-Industrial development
-    Trends in alternative energy and biofuels
-    Regional economic development models

The conference begins 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6 with a reception and networking event at the Hotel Chequamegon, 101 Lakeshore Drive West. It will be immediately followed by a 7 p.m., cruise of Ashland harbor departing from the hotel’s dock.

General registration for the conference is $50 ($35 for WIN members, $15 for students) and includes the reception, cruise and all Aug. 7 events and meals. Register online through 12:00 noon on Aug. 5 at or at the event.

WIN is the membership subsidiary of the Wisconsin Technology Council, the science and tech policy advisers to the governor and the Legislature. To join WIN, go to or call Liz Katz at 608-442-7557, ext. 27.