CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A vice chancellor with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System is moving on to a new national role with the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Casey Sacks has been named deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, or OCTAE, based in Washington, D.C.

“I’m so excited. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” she told MetroNews.

“West Virginia has given me such a strong foundation for the work that I’m going to go on to Washington to do.”

During her two years as vice chancellor, Sacks has worked on statewide initiatives covering education policy, workforce development, technology innovation, program recruitment and retention, grant management and the delivery of community and technical college education.

In her new role, Sacks will oversee programs like the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act which are key in West Virginia’s workforce preparation efforts.

“The community colleges that we have here in the state are incredible,” she said.

“They really do a lot around advancing workforce development and I want to bring what I have done here in West Virginia with me to the national level to help other states replicate some of the same good work.”

Sacks started her career as a clinical psychologist working in geriatric therapy.

“I found that it wasn’t a good fit for my soul,” she said of that job.

“My clients were all dealing with death and dying issues and I would come home at the end of the day and feel really sad and so I knew I needed to make a shift and the shift that I made was to work with college students.”

Prior to coming to West Virginia, Sacks spent eight years at the Colorado Community College System in Academic Affairs.

“Casey has served West Virginia’s students with such great vision and dedication and I know she’ll continue to be our strong ally in Washington,” said Dr. Sarah Tucker, chancellor for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.

The Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education serves more than 25 million students.

Sacks’ last day with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System is Nov. 27.

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