Companies, community colleges should collaborate

Aug. 07, 2014 @ 05:09 PM

Collaboration is essential for training the community, according to staff at local community colleges.

More than 70 people gathered Thursday to share workforce development techniques during the Align4NCWorks learning summit.

Presidents from Durham Technical and Piedmont community colleges met at Vance-Granville’s main campus outlined new programs and partnerships with the community.

Scott Ralls, N.C. Community College System president, said he was impressed by Vance-Granville’s presentation, and the college has historically been one of the state’s leaders in workforce development.

Durham Tech spokeswoman Carver Weaver said the talk of the new mechatronics program was helpful because they are working to launch something similar.

Employers like Merck, a pharmaceutical company, and Parata, a pill packaging company, also attended and expressed concerns about the lack of trained individuals.

Weaver said one employer was having problems with recruitment, saying he had to throw out applications with no resume or cover letter attached.

Eddie Ferguson, director of Vance-Granville’s endowment fund, said he took note of similar job etiquette issues employers cited during the presentations.

Weaver said the seminar reminded her that Durham Tech’s human resources development, which provides a full-time career coach and resume training, was essential to getting students ready for the corporate world.

The learning summit was sponsored by the North Carolina Community College Association. Vance-Granville was one of many stops on its tour, which was designed to help community colleges share methods of economic development in their communities.

Weaver said she was pleased the association launched the listening workshops because it allows community colleges and corporate entities to collaborate.

“The biggest takeaway is that we are doing the right things, but we need to partner and collaborate more so we don’t duplicate efforts,” she said.

Weaver said community colleges are the prime location for residents to build industry specific skills that please employers because of initiatives like this one.

“We want to keep a steady flow of trained individuals, especially in this economy,” she said. “This is valuable service that the community college provides.”

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.