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Penny Pritzker to receive this year’s Harry Truman Award

Ms. Pritzer,  the US Secretary of Commerce, is being recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges   for her commitment to development in the work place.

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US President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Secretary of Commerce,    Penny Pritzker,    during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington,    DC,    on May 2,    2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

Penny Pritzker,  who last year was  elevated to the role of  US Secretary of Commerce, is to have her efforts in enhancing workforce development recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), by receiving the 2014 Harry S. Truman Award.

Ms. Pritzker will be the guest of honor at the  AACC Annual Convention to be held in her home town of Chicago  on July the 27th  when she will  receive   her ward.

Announcing the association’s decision that Ms. Pritzker will be a recipient of this year’s award AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus explained that Secretary Pritzker understands that the only way to close the skills gap is through training and education.

“The Secretary serves as  an advocate of the work community colleges do to prepare students for the workforce.” Mr. Bumphus summed up his statement.


Penny Pritzker was inducted to the position of 38th Secretary of Commerce  in a special ceremony conducted by Vice President Joe Biden in late June of last year.


Prior to being appointed to the role, Secretary Pritzker served as chairman of the the advisory board for Skills for America’s Future, led by the Aspen Institute.  Skills for America’s Future was established to  combine efforts of  businesses, community colleges as well as elements in the world of commerce and distribution to prepare workers for dealing with the challenges and understanding the advantages of the information and manufacturing technologies of the 21st-century jobs. In 2012, Ms. Pritzker was a driving force behind the launch of  Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, the first city model of the Aspen Institute initiative.

Throughout her many years as a civic leader, Ms. Pritzker constantly being recognized for her efforts to improve public education, having held the position of chairperson. the Chicago Public Education Fund, as well as being a former member of the Chicago Board of Education.

This is not the first time that Ms.  Pritzker’s efforts towards helping the public has been recognized. in 2012, she was also the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, which honors members of the general public who may considerable contributions towards public life.


The Harry S. Truman Award is annually presented by the American Association of Community Colleges  to an individual, whose career is out to the field of education, but who is recognized as having made a positive impact on community colleges. The award endowed in the name of the late  President Truman, IS acknowledged as being one of the driving forces behind the development of the “community college” concept in the post-war years.

Since its founding in 1948, the society, which currently boasts over  8, 000 members, has taken the responsibility for delivering equal educational and economic opportunities for more than 13 American million students through one of the 1, 200  colleges who are members of the AACC.

Penny Sue Pritzker was born and raised in Chicago, a member of the Pritzker family, whose principal business interests are partial ownership of the Hyatt hotel group as well as being having substantial property interests, particularly in the Mid-West of America.

Ms. Pritzker graduated with a BA in Economics from Harvard College in 1981 earning her master’s degree at Stanford University in 1984.




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