College News

Strong Harnett support for Central Carolina Works

10.15.2013Admin, Faculty & StaffCollege & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum ProgramsFoundation

SANFORD - Central Carolina Works, a new educational initiative by a consortium including Central Carolina Community College, education, business, industry and community leaders, is gaining enthusiastic support.

CCW will fund the placement of Academic and Career Advisors in each of the public high schools in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties. These advisors will work one-on-one with students to help them take advantage of the state-funded Career and College Promise program.

The Promise program enables high school students to enroll, tuition-free, in college credit courses that also apply toward their high school diploma. By the time they graduate from high school, they have a jump-start on their career or college education.

"The challenge is that only about 5 percent of eligible high school students in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties currently take advantage of the Promise program," said Dr. Bud Marchant, CCCC president. "Central Carolina Works will greatly increase this by placing Career and College Advisors in our area high schools. They will work one-on-one with students to raise their awareness and guide them into the CCP pathways that align best with their interests and skills."

Central Carolina Works builds out around the core curricular and financial architecture of the CCP. Adding a substantial foundation of Academic and Career Advisors to the Career and College Promise program is a unique initiative statewide, Marchant said, but one that could be duplicated by other community colleges.

An Interactive Advising Technologies program being developed will enable communication between the advisors and students to take place online also. The technology will be open source, permitting adaptation to different systems' needs.

"The fact that so few of last year's high school juniors and seniors took advantage of the Career and College Promise program is largely attributable to the fact that students do not understand what a rich opportunity it provides," said Harnett County Schools Superintendent Thomas Frye. "The Central Carolina Works initiative will educate and guide students through the unique opportunity provided at Central Carolina Community College through Career and College Promise."

Central Carolina Works is expected not only to benefit students, but also the larger community by enhancing economic development.

"Workforce development is a top priority and this can play a huge part," said Joseph Jeffries, Harnett County deputy county manager. "When companies think of moving to an area, they look at the qualified workforce you have in place. We look forward to participating in Central Carolina Works in any way we can."

Members of the consortium are delivering the message of the importance of Central Carolina Works to area groups and businesses in the tri-county area. The goal is to raise $750,000 by April in order to get the program off the ground by the start of next school year.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for young people to get the necessary skills required in the 21st century global economy," said Kirk Bradley, chair of the CCWorks committee and CEO of Lee-Moore Capital Company, in Sanford. "It doesn't matter whether the students are trying to get a certificate, diploma or degree, it benefits them all. At the same time, it benefits the entire community by having a more prepared workforce when we recruit new companies to the region."

CCCC has already received a $100,000 GoldenLEAF grant to help with the initial two-year start-up phase of Central Carolina Works. The consortium is now seeking about $350,000 from private and corporate donors. It will also reach out to the Chatham, Harnett and Lee boards of commissioners for assistance.

Requests for grant and donation monies will be on a one-time basis only, Marchant said. Following the two-year start-up period, CCCC will absorb the ongoing costs of employing the Career and Academic Advisors through the state per-student funding for the increased enrollment generated by Central Carolina Works.

For more information or to make a contribution to Central Carolina Works, contact CCCC Foundation director Emily Hare at ehare@cccc.edu or (919) 718-7230.