RCC’s new division focuses on workforce

April 25, 2014

ASHEBORO — Randolph Community College will create a new division with a “laser focus on workforce development” and an overall goal of “closing the skills gap” between job applicants and jobs available today, according to President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr.

He announced the new division, Workforce Development and Continuing Education, this week. The college will advertise to hire a vice president with strong industrial leadership experience to lead it and be heavily involved in a dialogue with local industry leaders to help develop RCC’s curriculum.

Shackleford said workforce development is at the heart of today’s economy, from grant-funding agencies to budget writers such as the governor, state legislators and county commissioners. He noted that the top emphasis at a recent economic development retreat was “talent development.”

He also said he keeps hearing the same story: “At the same time we have a lot of people out of work, we have businesses and industries all over the state who are advertising for workers. They may have 50 people apply, but only a few qualify.

“Despite our best efforts in corporate and continuing education, a job-skills gap remains for many of our citizens, and we need to better align our workforce development resources. This area is important enough to the college’s ongoing success and Randolph County’s success that it is time to add a position at the vice president level.”

RCC’s current Corporate and Continuing Education division was folded into Instructional Services years ago when the economic and workforce climate was much different. In addition to supervising Corporate and Continuing Education, Vice President for Instructional Services Anne Hockett oversees the college’s Curriculum programs and personnel, Library Services, Distance Education, Archdale Center and Emergency Services Training Center.

Amanda Byrd, dean of corporate and continuing education, has been appointed division chair for Business and Commercial Arts curricula upon the retirement of the current chair, Amy Brantley, this summer. The dean position will not be filled.

“RCC is at the heart of some incredible opportunities as we build on our record of collaboration in workforce development and our commitment to work together to connect with companies to help design training to fill their specific needs,” Shackleford said.

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