Recognition day held at Wilson CC.
JCC and eight neighboring community colleges came together Tuesday to tell the value of community colleges.
The event was one of a series of local community college recognition days in the eight prosperity zones around the state.
The event included an agenda of speakers and interactive simulations and demonstrations of feature community college programs. Lyn Austin, chair of JCC’s board of trustees, spoke as the trustee representative. JCC also showcased an 18-wheeler from the N.C. Truck Driver Training program as well as a forcible door entry prop from the fire technology program.
Community colleges in the North Central Prosperity Zone are: Central Carolina; Durham Tech Edgecombe; Johnston; Nash, Piedmont; Vance-Granville; Wake Tech; and Wilson.
Austin asked those in attendance to call on their elected officials and ask for increased funding for community colleges. In 2016, Austin said, the community college system served some 800,000 students and the universities served some 200,000 yet community colleges received less than 9 percent of the state’s education budget.
“We need everybody in North Carolina talking to the legislators and county commissioners about what our colleges do and that we deserve to be funded,” she said.
Other speakers included: Dr. Tim Wright, president of Wilson CC; Dr. Stephen Scott, president of Wake Tech; Christopher Blue, Early College student from Vance-Granville; Nikki Ward, human resources director from US Flue-Cured Tobacco Company; and Bruce Pannenton, dean of health sciences and public safety at Edgecombe CC.
In addition to the local community college days, the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP) will host Community College Day in the General Assembly on March 29 in Raleigh.
Cut line: Top photo: Lyn Austin, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees, spoke about the need for increased funding for the state's 58 community colleges. Middle photo: Jason Boggs, JCC fire instructor, shows Christopher Blue, an Early College student at Vance-Granville Community College, a forcible door prop fire students use to train for emergency rescues. Above: JCC truck driver training instructor Tony Stread, left, talks to Dr. Tim Wright, president of Wilson Community College, about career opportunities in truck driving.