More than 300 community college leaders from across the state gathered last week in Raleigh to advocate for the NC Community College System’s legislative priorities.
Representing Southwestern Community College were Dr. Don Tomas, President; Vance Davidson, Chair of the Board of Trustees; and Gerald McKinney, newly appointed member of the Board of Trustees.
Among the speakers at the Community College Day event were NC Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger, NC House Speaker Tim Moore and chairs of powerful education and appropriations committees. All legislators emphasized the critical mission of the community colleges to train and retrain the state’s workforce.
“Businesses know what they need from their workers, and community colleges know how to build a workforce,” Berger said.
Legislators also commended the community college leaders for their work at all 58 campuses. “Community Colleges are 58 strong in North Carolina and are truly the lifeblood of workforce development and education improvement in our state,” Moore said.
The NC Community College System is advocating for a legislative agenda focused on students and employees as community colleges work to support the businesses in their communities. The legislature is currently holding its long session when budget matters are decided for a two-year biennium.
“We are grateful to the elected officials who represent our service area for their efforts to support Southwestern Community College,” Dr. Tomas. “We spoke to Sen. Kevin Corbin, Rep. Karl Gillespie and Rep. Mike Clampitt, and they are all aware of our needs. We are hoping the entire legislature will invest in our employees and in our students because ultimately these investments will benefit all the communities we serve.”