BETHEL – Pitt Community College’s efforts to deliver programs to the communities in Pitt County it serves surged forward on Wednesday with the signing of an agreement to provide services to the Bethel Youth Activity Center (BYAC).
The pact, which calls on the college to “improve and expand educational and life enriching opportunities” for BYAC students, comes a month after CPC Chairman Lawrence Rouse signed a similar agreement with the Association of Mexicans of North Carolina, Inc.
âPitt Community College is committed to equity in education and offering programs and services throughout Pitt County is one way to help us achieve this,â said Rouse. âThere are many potential barriers to getting an education, including transportation issues, work obligations, and family commitments. It is therefore essential that the college meet with students where they are to help remove some of these barriers. “
Garrie Moore, CEO / Executive Director of BYAC, said the partnership with Pitt is “a positive step forward in meeting the many needs of rural citizens in Pitt County.” This opens doors, he said, for additional workforce development collaborations that don’t require Bethel residents to travel across the county for training.
A former CCP student dean, Moore has long been an advocate for educational outreach efforts for minority students. In fact, in 2006, his friends and colleagues joined Southern Bank to establish the Garrie Moore Outreach Scholarship with the PCC Foundation to help minority students in need.
The creation of the Bethel Youth Activity Center is Moore’s latest outreach effort. A former ABC store on Main Street had to be transformed into a distance learning center.
The facility opened in November 2020, Moore said, to provide young people with a safe place to work and learn when out of school. He said it has turned out to be a boost to community morale as well.
âWe have already seen an increased level of enthusiasm and hope in this city,â said Moore, adding that BYAC services are available to all residents of Bethel and include improving literacy, tutoring, mentoring, summer camps and technology allowing students to virtually connect to schools. .
As per the agreement, the PCC will offer general education, tutoring, and character / leadership activities designed to prepare BYAC students for real-world experiences. The college will also offer career guidance, academic support and enrollment assistance.
For its part, BYAC will help the college identify students interested in participating in programming, ensure a safe and inviting learning environment for students and instructors, and hold students accountable for adhering to the student code of conduct. of the CCP and other policies and procedures. The center will also participate in a joint advisory board that will meet regularly to review and strengthen the partnership.
The success of the Technical Academy leads to additional programming options
The PCC-Pitt County Schools (PCS) Technical Academy is growing again, giving even more credit to the adage that “success breeds success”.
Three years after starting as a pilot with students from two high schools in Pitt County, the academy is expanding its capacity, course sections and program options. More students are expected to participate in the 2021-2022 academic year than in the first two years of the initiative combined.
Developed through a partnership between the college and the county school system, the PCC-PCS Technical Academy offers Pitt County juniors and seniors hands-on training in programs not offered by their respective high schools. Students selected to participate are transported to and from the classroom on the main Pitt campus free of charge. Their tuition, fees and books are also covered.
Each program offered by the academy provides skills that can quickly lead to employment in stable careers with above average starting salaries.
âThis is a great opportunity for high school students to earn college credit and make meaningful progress toward a two-year degree at no cost to them,â says Lynn Griffin, director of the PCC-PCS Technical Academy. âWe had 12 academy participants who graduated from high school this month and are planning to return to the CCP this fall. They will have around three semesters of classes left to earn an associate’s degree which can open them up to a number of fantastic employment opportunities.
CPC Chairman Lawrence Rouse says the academy is an innovative way to promote workforce development in Pitt County at a time when many building trades nationwide are seeing more departures at retirement as new workers join their ranks.
âThe PCC-PCS Technical Academy is important to our industry partners, who have identified the need to fill vacancies with retired workers,â he said. âThese local employers expect to fill over 600 vacancies over the next few years.
This fall, Griffin said the academy is adding architectural technology and biotechnology to programming that already includes air conditioning, heating and refrigeration, computer integrated machining, electrical systems and industrial systems.
âOur goal is to have at least 60 participants by the fall, but we could end up having as many as 80,â Griffin said. âDue to the strong interest from students, we have added sections on HVAC and Electrical Systems, which gives us the potential for increased participation. “
After starting with 20 students at Ayden-Grifton and South Central High Schools in 2018, Rouse and PCS Principal Ethan Lenker signed an agreement expanding the program the following year. As a result, 43 juniors and seniors representing the six public high schools in Pitt County participated in the second year of the academy.
Griffin said the 2020-21 school year had 42 participants, 22 of whom posted 4.0 GPAs to earn Dean’s List honors. She said 23 students were honored at a special awards ceremony in April for achieving third-party certifications, and another eight received student excellence awards, which included medallions designed by the PCC Computer Integrated Machining faculty.
Applications to attend the academy in the next school year are still being accepted by the growing juniors of Pitt County. For more details, contact Griffin at 493-7653 or [email protected] Additional information is also available on the PCC Technical Academy Facebook page.