(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
South Seattle Community College‘s hangar at Boeing Field was the setting this afternoon for an education-and-jobs roundtable featuring visiting Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Aviation Maintenance Technology students work and learn at the hangar, making it the perfect setting for roundtable’s topic: “Community Colleges and Jobs” – one that’s close to Dr. Biden’s heart, since she is a community-college teacher and advocate (here’s her bio). Among the participants, Boeing employee and graduate Jason DeBuys (next to Dr. Biden, center right) was among those who took a turn with the mike:
While the discussion proceeded, Dr. Biden’s husband, Vice President Joe Biden, was a few miles north at the Westin Hotel downtown, helping raise campaign cash for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, who herself visited SSCC’s West Seattle campus last October (with fellow U.S. Sen. Patty Murray) to announce a job-training program (WSB coverage here).
At right in that photo is Vatrone Vann from Vaupell, a commercial-aerospace supplier (also listed in the program as representing corporate training at North Seattle Community College). More from today’s event, ahead:
Students were on hand too, including Daniel Amyakar (left):
Working to figure out how best to serve students like him, in a time of tight budgets, are college leaders like SSCC president Gary Oertli, who introduced Dr. Biden:
Oertli’s predecessor at SSCC, now college-system chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield, offered the Second Lady a hug:
Other business-partnership representatives at the roundtable included a Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Tim Copes (photo center):
Dr. Biden mingled after the roundtable discussion:
And of course, there were photos to pose for:
Long before she arrived, there was much to prepare. Assistant transportation secretary David Moseley took time to read over some material before participating:
Cheryl Stuart carefully placed programs on each of the chairs that awaited the invitation-only audience:
Then all too quickly, by early evening, the distinguished visitor was gone. By the way – in addition to advocating for community colleges, Dr. Biden is also an advocate for military families; last month, she published a children’s book titled “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” inspired by her granddaughter Natalie‘s experience while Natalie’s dad, the Bidens’ son Beau, was deployed to Iraq in 2008.