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APTS TO RECOGNIZE BLUE RIDGE PUBLIC TELEVISION FOR JOBQUEST, AN...

APTS to Recognize Blue Ridge Public Television for JobQuest, an Innovative and Groundbreaking Partnership

WASHINGTON— February 23, 2010 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) will recognize Blue Ridge Public Television with a 2010 EDGE Award for demonstrating the great potential of digital television. The EDGE Awards are presented annually to public television stations that use digital technology, groundbreaking partnerships, and educational technologies to deliver innovative services to their communities.

"This year our EDGE Award recipients have a common theme—they use their broadcast and other resources to draw upon the energy and engagement around some of the most pressing issues affecting our country—jobs, education and health care," said Larry Sidman, President and CEO of APTS. "These projects show that stations are moving beyond traditional broadcast and are engaging their communities in new and innovative ways. Audiences are reached through over-the-air, online, and on-the-ground partnerships, impacting their communities in ways that really set them apart."

Blue Ridge Public Television in Roanoke, Virginia is being presented an EDGE Award for their innovative JobQuest project. JobQuest is a partnership Blue Ridge Public Television launched with 10 community partners that include Roanoke's leading local newspaper, Roanoke's top-rated commercial broadcaster and local colleges and economic development offices to educate, empower and inspire their viewers with valuable information to find jobs during the economic recession.  

Sidman said: "Through JobQuest, Blue Ridge Public Television shows how a station can effectively reach across traditional media lines to join forces with commercial broadcasters and print media to deliver much-needed broadcast and online job hunting resources and services to their local community."  

"Our community partners were really the key to JobQuest's success. They all came together during a time when citizens in our region needed help, donating time, talent and other valuable resources to the program," said James Baum, Blue Ridge PBS President and CEO. "It has been an honor for us at Blue Ridge PBS to lead this project, and use the power of public television to help people get back to work. Blue Ridge PBS is known for local productions that address the history, arts, culture, educational needs and economic health of an entire region. When the national recession hit, our viewers expected us to step up and help."  

Molly Bell, Marketing Manager for the Roanoke Times said: "When Blue Ridge PBS approached us about this idea in late 2008, we were immediately drawn to this effort. It evolved into an impressive and creative production, with interactive, multimedia resources for jobseekers in a large and often-unserved portion of Virginia."  

For Roanoke residents struggling with unemployment, "JobQuest provides [these people] valuable job hunting information and the encouragement they need to succeed in a tough employment market," said David A. Bowers, Mayor of the City of Roanoke. "While participating in a JobQuest episode, I was impressed with how Blue Ridge PBS was reaching out to communities across its large service area."

Amy Morris, News Director at WDBJ, the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, said: "At a time, when our lead stories were about people losing their jobs, we had a solution to offer viewers. JobQuest was able to provide some relief. Not just in the form of job listings, but to tell people about programs to improve interviewing skills and prepare them for the job hunt."

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support.

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