Community colleges: a key to our recovery

Posted 5/12/21

To the Editor:

As North Carolina faces an economic crisis amidst a pandemic, our community colleges will be key to recovery efforts.

North Carolina will undoubtedly turn to its 58 community …

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Community colleges: a key to our recovery

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Posted

To the Editor:

As North Carolina faces an economic crisis amidst a pandemic, our community colleges will be key to recovery efforts.

North Carolina will undoubtedly turn to its 58 community colleges to train and retrain our state’s workforce to meet the increasing demands of a recovering economy and changing business world. To do that, our colleges need to be able to retain and recruit the best faculty and staff who can provide the training our students and businesses need to be successful.

Central Carolina Community College is committed to its mission of fostering individual, community, and economic development through transformative lifelong learning while serving the citizens of Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties. Our vision for the college is “Exceptional learning for all.”

CCCC offers a wide variety of more than 50 career and university transfer programs, as students can earn associate degrees or college transfer credits, diplomas, or certificates. CCCC also offers instruction in such areas as short-term job training, college & career readiness, personal interests, business & industry, and emergency services training.

The CCCC commitment led to two national recognitions in 2020. CCCC was nationally ranked as No. 25 in The Best Community Colleges & Trade Schools of 2020 by Best Colleges. In addition, CCCC was ranked among the Top 50 community colleges in the nation by College Consensus, a unique college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews.

Yet, CCCC has its challenges — like other community colleges. We have been fortunate to have outstanding faculty and staff who have greatly contributed to our mission. We would like to continue to retain and recruit quality employees who are dedicated to continuing our successful mission of service.

Many businesses face the challenge of recruiting qualified, in-demand employees and then keeping those employees from leaving to go to another employer. North Carolina’s community colleges are no different. Attracting and keeping highly qualified professionals to prepare North Carolina’s future workforce continues to be a significant challenge — especially in high-demand, high-skilled areas such as healthcare, technology, and trades. Although North Carolina has the third largest community college system in the nation, community college faculty salaries, as a whole, consistently rank near the bottom in national comparisons.

As lawmakers consider many important issues to our state during this legislative session, our North Carolina Community Colleges are supporting legislation asking for a 7 percent salary increase for faculty and staff. If community college faculty and staff were to receive this salary increase, it would be a significant step toward ensuring that North Carolina has the professionals in place to train the 700,000 students who enroll annually and to help business and industry emerge from the pandemic and rebuild the economy.

H. Julian Philpott Jr.
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Central Carolina Community College

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