Summer Workshop Brings Advanced Technology Careers to Life

Published: July 6, 2017

Summer STEM Workshop ParticipantsHigh school counselors, teachers get hands-on lessons about JCC programs.

High school counselors and career and technical education teachers rolled up their sleeves at Johnston Community College last week and learned more about careers in biotechnology, machining, welding, and industrial systems technology.

The educators participated in a two-day professional development workshop held at the Johnston County Workforce Development Center in Clayton and the William R. Britt Advanced Technology Center on the JCC main campus.

Tricia Palmer, lead counselor at Corinth-Holder High, experiments with a pipette during the BioWork session.The hands-on experience allowed counselors and teachers the opportunity to see firsthand the high-quality training offered at JCC. They also learned that students are not limited to a degree but can earn a diploma or certificate in many programs – depending on the amount of time the student wants to invest in their education.

Kathy Feola, a health science teacher at West Johnston High, said she was surprised to learn about career opportunities for women in advanced technology programs. “I would tell my female students, don’t be afraid to go into non-traditional areas of study,” Feola said.

Tricia Palmer, lead counselor at Corinth-Holders High, said the workshop gave her a better understanding of the programs of study at JCC. “Now that I understand that BioWork is a helping profession and there is a creative side to welding I can explain to my students that arts can be applied with machinery and metal work,” Palmer said. “I will also be able to explain to my female students that there are multiple opportunities outside of what is seen and heard of on a daily basis.”

The educators also learned that the College works closely with industrial partners, like Grifols and Novo Nordisk, to ensure students are educated, trained, and ready to go out into the field.

Dr. Deborah Porto, dean of business and advanced technologies at JCC, started the summer professional development series three years ago to raise awareness of educational programs in business and advanced technologies at JCC. To date, more than 50 people have completed the program.

For more information about the summer workshop series, please contact Porto at (919) 209-2041 or

Cut lines: Summer workshop participants pose for a fun photo during the two-day event. Tricia Palmer, lead couselor at Corinth-Holders High, experiments with a pipette during the BioWork session.

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