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Work Ready Community effort launched

February 16, 2015 | 02:29 PM

Beaufort County Community College and local economic development interests recently announced the launch of an effort to certify the county to those seeking to locate their businesses here or expand an existing business.

The effort to add Beaufort County to the list of Work Ready communities tells employers that "Beaufort County has a workforce that has been trained and ready to work," said Lou Stout, director of Workforce Initiatives at BCCC.

The initiative is a collaborative effort among BCCC, the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, Beaufort County Economic Development Commission, Beaufort County Commissioners, Beaufort County Schools, Region Q Workforce Development Board and the Beaufort County Committee of 100.

The local effort is part of a statewide initiative to certify communities and counties as Work Ready communities. In order to be certified as Work Ready, a community must obtain a letter of commitment to workforce excellence from county leaders, achieve a high school graduation rate of 94 percent, obtain a specified number of workers who hold Career Readiness Certificates and gain commitment from employers to recognize the CRC in their hiring practices.

Beaufort County has achieved all of the goals towards Work Ready certification except the number of employers recognizing the CRC.

To that end, BCCC is ramping up its efforts to convince employers to participate in the Career Readiness Certification Program, Stout said.

Career Readiness Certification is a nationally-recognized credential that requires students to take a three-part test that includes applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. Based on their scores, students receive either bronze, silver, gold or platinum certificates that attest to their abilities to do specific jobs.

Career Readiness Certification also benefits job seekers because they can show potential employers that they are capable of doing the job, Stout said.

In order to qualify, businesses and industries do not have to require potential employees obtain a CRC but simply complete a form signaling that they recognize the importance of the certification, she said.

To date, about a dozen businesses and industries have agreed to participate including PotashCorp Aurora, the county's largest employer, National Spinning, Spinrite, BCCC and the Beaufort County Schools but 61 are needed in order for Beaufort County to be certified as Work Ready.

BCCC, along with the other organizations in the effort, will be working over the next few months to educate employers about the program and seek their agreement to participate.

"We hope that as more employers become familiar with this effort and recognize its value as an economic development tool, that they will be willing to sign on as those who recognize and/or are willing to use the CRC as an evaluation for potential employees," Stout said.

Employers wishing to show their support of this initiative can complete an employer sign-up form at and email and fax to Lou Stout. Completing this form will place their business/industry name on the ACT and NCEast Alliance website as a participating CRC Employer.

For more information, individuals can also visit the new Work Ready Communities webpage at

For more information about Work Ready communities and the Career Readiness Certification, contact Stout at 252-940-6307 or by email at
Duke Energy awards $248,302 to BCCC

Duke Energy awards $248,302 to BCCC

February 04, 2015 | 08:50 AM

WASHINGTON, N.C. Duke Energy and Beaufort County Community College today announced a $248,302 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation to upgrade the equipment used in the Welding Technology Program at BCCC.

With $127,347 from the award, BCCC will purchase new Lincoln Electric Vrtex virtual welders that will complement instruction in the program. With the virtual welders, students can practice their welding techniques "virtually" and receive instant feedback from their instructors without wasting expensive materials

The college will use $120,955 from the award to purchase robotic welding machines that students can use at their individual stations and for instructor training in the use of the machines. This equipment will supplement instruction the students receive in robotic welding technology.

"Beaufort County Community College thanks Duke Energy for its investment in the Welding Technology Program," said Dr. Barbara Tansey, BCCC president. "Trained welders are in high demand at industries throughout the region and this new equipment will give our graduates the advanced training they need to be competitive in this field."

"This grant connects students to careers by training them in a high-demand field," said Millie Chalk, Duke Energy's district manager, "By further developing our local workforce in the valuable skill of welding, we're making Beaufort County, and the region, more attractive to prospective employers."

This grant is part of Duke Energy's $30 million investment in North Carolina Community Colleges' focus on technical education and support of business and industry. Individual community colleges can apply for funds through the NC Community Foundation. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce.

About Beaufort County Community College

BCCC is a public comprehensive community college committed to providing accessible and affordable quality education, effective teaching, relevant training, and lifelong learning opportunities for the people served by the college. BCCC's service area includes Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties and stretches from the city of Washington in the west to Ocracoke in the east. For more information about BCCC, visit

About Duke Energy Foundation

Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Duke Energy Foundation invests $25 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation and how to apply for grant funding, visit

BCCC to mark grand opening of fitness trail

January 15, 2015 | 11:28 AM

Beaufort County Community College will mark the completion of a new fitness trail and exercise stations with a grand opening scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, outside of Building 8 on the BCCC campus.

The event will feature a short presentation, refreshments and an inaugural walk led by BCCC students, faculty and staff along the one-mile-long Interactive Multipurpose Fitness and Interval Training Trail, or IM FITT. The trail also features three exercise stations for flexibility, aerobic and strength training that will also be introduced during the grand opening.

Construction of the walking trail was funded by a $150,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust as part of Healthy Places North Carolina, a long-term trust initiative to improve health and health care in rural, financially disadvantaged North Carolina counties. Beaufort County is one of four counties the trust has invited to participate in Healthy Places N.C.

Jason Baisden, program officer for the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, is among those scheduled to attend.

"BCCC is delighted to officially open this trail to the public," said Sara Singleton, BCCC grant writer. "We look forward to the frequent use of this free community resource not only by members of the college family but also the general public."

Multiple community organizations including the Mid-East Commission Area Agency on Aging, the Beaufort County Developmental Center, Life Quest, Inc., and others worked to make the trail a reality and plan to incorporate use of the trail into their programming to help promote long-term health and fitness.

For more information about the event or the IM FITT trail or to schedule a group visit, contact Singleton at 252-940- 6271 or by email at


BCCC schedules two courses for Concealed Carry Permit seekers

October 28, 2014 | 03:22 PM

The Division of Continuing Education at Beaufort County Community College will offer courses in November and December for individuals seeking to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The course will be offered Thursday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 8, and Thursday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 6 on the BCCC campus. Permit seekers need to attend only one of the courses in order to take the examination to earn the Concealed Carry Permit.

The registration fee for either class is $75. Each course will require a minimum of seven registrants.

Potential students should be familiar with their weapon and are advised that this course is not for beginning users of handguns. The instructor will have the right to remove a student from the class at any time if he believes the student is not familiar with their handgun or is unsafe.

The Thursday session of each course will meet from 6 to 11 p.m. and will involve classroom instruction. The Saturday session will meet from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include classroom instruction, a written test and firing range work.

Students will have to earn a minimum score of 70 percent on the written test and hit a target 28 times out of 40 rounds of ammunition in order to qualify for a certificate to apply for a Concealed Carry Permit at their county's Sheriff's Office.

For more information about either course, contact Leonard Hudson, director of Public Safety Programs, at 252-940-6405 or by email at

Students may register by calling 252-940-6375 or in person in room 802 of Building 8 on the BCCC campus. BCCC accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Checks payable to Beaufort County Community College may be mailed to the attention of Eva Peartree, 5337 U.S. Highway 264 East, Washington, NC 27889.

For more information about other Continuing Education classes, visit BCCC's Website at

Mattimoe returns to BCCC for poetry reading

Mattimoe returns to BCCC for poetry reading

October 01, 2014 | 09:28 AM

Former Lead Instructor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Beaufort County Community College Tim Mattimoe returns to campus to read from his new book of poetry, Calligraphy on the Moon's Face.

The reading will be at noon, Tuesday, Oct. 7, in the Learning Resources Center in the upper level of Building 5.

"BCCC is delighted to welcome Tim Mattimoe back to campus for this event," said Penny Sermons, BCCC director of Learning Resources and Distance Learning. "I hope the public and members of the campus community will enjoy seeing Tim and listening to these poems."

Toledo, Ohio, native Mattimoe was a full-time member of the BCCC faculty for over 21 years before he retired in 2012. Mattimoe and his wife, Karen, live in Pittsboro.

Published earlier this year, the poems were written after his retirement and are inspired by his surroundings in Chatham County. They have their roots in the haiku of Japanese masters and the American writers they influenced.

"I have been writing poetry most of my life," Mattimoe said. "I started in high school and have worked steadily at it for nearly 60 years.

"Last winter, at the urging of some writer friends, I decided to publish a book as a gift for my family and a few friends," he said. "Since then, the project has taken on a life of its own."

Mattimoe said he wrote his first haiku when he was 18 and that he enjoys working in the form "because of the discipline it requires. Everything has to be said in three lines of no more than seven syllables each."

Mattimoe earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in History from the University of Toledo and was a doctoral student at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

As lead instructor of social and behavioral sciences, he regularly taught history and humanities courses at the college including American History, World Civilizations and Introduction to Film.

In his classes, Mattimoe was known for his inventive use of a variety of visual and audio tools to help his students better understand the subject matter. For years, he carefully collected and edited video clips to strengthen his courses in history and the humanities. For his Southern Culture, African-American History and History of Religion classes, he also developed an extensive collection of music and video which is still available in BCCC's Library.

For more information about his reading, contact Sermons at 252-940-6243 or by email at
BCCC to open its doors to community Oct. 2

BCCC to open its doors to community Oct. 2

September 30, 2014 | 11:36 AM

Beaufort County Community College is opening its doors and inviting members of the community throughout its service area to visit and learn about opportunities available to them.

The college will hold an Open House, 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, with the theme "You Fit Here! Come See How!" giving attendees the chance to meet with faculty, staff and current student; tour the campus; view classes in progress; learn about various programs leading to a degree, diploma or certificate; learn about personal enrichment and skill development classes and much more. Refreshments will be available at locations across the campus during the Open House.

Those who attend will also have a chance to win a $1,500 scholarship that can be used at BCCC for tuition, registration fees, books, uniforms, tools of the trade and testing fees.

"Beaufort County Community College has been a part of eastern North Carolina for almost 50 years but many people may not know how they fit into the BCCC community," said Jay Sullivan, BCCC vice president of Research and Institutional Effectiveness. "The purpose of the Open House is to introduce these people to our campus.

"Whether folks are making plans for college, wanting up upgrade their job skills or looking for a new hobby or interest, we believe they will fit in at BCCC," said Sullivan, chairman of the event.

Sullivan noted several specific activities that may be of interest to attendees including a demonstration and hands-on training on BCCC's new virtual welder, a tour of the updated Firearms Qualification Range, the opportunity to climb inside a BCCC 18-wheel truck and a visit to the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program.

Other college divisions and programs including the Division of Arts and Sciences, business and computer programs and the Division of Continuing Education - are planning displays and hands-on opportunities to highlight their offerings, Sullivan said.

Student groups will also have displays that highlight activities available on campus.

"The Student Government Association and our other campus student groups welcome the chance to show what we can offer to those who enroll in our college and to the community at large," said SGA President Jackson Lancaster.

Several agencies that offer services to BCCC students will participate in the Open House.

Among those is the Mobile NCWorks Career Center. Representatives from the NC Works Center will attend the event to answer questions about services available at the center as well as help attendees prepare resumes, provide job-search help or offer help in completing online job applications, according to Sullivan.

Other agencies who will have representatives include the Beaufort County Department of Social Services, the Beaufort County Health Department, Coastal Pregnancy Center, Eagle's Wings, Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County, Mideast Housing Authority, Vocational Rehabilitation and Washington Housing Development Authority, among others.

'These are agencies or organizations that help lift barriers for those who may want to begin a college education but need help to do so. As a result, we have invited them to provide information that night," said Grant Writer Sara Singleton, vice-chairman of the Open House.

For more information about the Open House, contact Sullivan at 252-940-6203 or by email at
Beaufort County Early College High School teacher named North Carolina History Teacher of the Year

Beaufort County Early College High School teacher named North Carolina History Teacher of the Year

September 24, 2014 | 09:21 AM

Amanda Smith, a teacher at Beaufort County Early College High School, has been named North Carolina History Teacher of the Year for 2014.

Smith teaches World History and Civics and Economics to ninth grade students at the high school, housed on the Beaufort County Community College campus.

The award was presented to Smith at the Tuesday, Sept. 22, meeting of the Beaufort County Board of Education by Fay Gore, Section Chief of the K-12 Social Studies Division of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

It is sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, The History Channel and Preserve America.

"A panel of teachers, administrators and academics from your state chose you for your use of primary documents in the classroom, the level of inspiration that you provide to your students and your career achievements in education," said Lesley S. Herrmann, executive director of the Lehrman Institute in citing Smith for the award. "We thank you for engaging students with dedication and creativity."

As the 2014 N.C. History Teacher of the Year, Smith will receive a $1,000 award, a certificate of recognition, an archive of books and historical resources presented in her name to the BCCC library and an invitation to attend the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar of her choice. She is also a finalist for the National History Teacher of the Year Award.

A native of Washington, Smith, 30, is a 2002 graduate of Washington High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in history with a teaching license from Meredith College in 2002 and a master's degree in public history from N.C. State University with a concentration in museum education techniques in 2010.

Smith has worked as a teacher for seven years, serving at Beaufort County Early College High School for three years.

She is a member to the N.C. Governor's Teachers Network and, in that role, is working to develop lesson plans for social studies teachers that will be released in May. Her area of expertise in that project is non-violence, civil rights and human rights.

At BCECHS, Smith is co-advisor of the Interact Club, a service club affiliated with the Washington Noon Rotary Club. Students in the club volunteer at the local animal shelter and conducts fund-raising activities for Eagle's Wings, Ruth's House and the American Heart Association.

Smith and her students are also active in National History Day competitions. As the state's top history day teacher, she developed a how-to guide on project and exhibit development which will be available nationwide next year for teachers participating in the National History Day competition.

She is the author of a book published in 2014 about the Civil Rights movement in Williamston, titled "The Williamston Freedom Movement: A North Carolina Town's Struggle for Civil Rights 1957-70."

Smith is a volunteer with the Historic Bath State Historic Site where she leads guided tours and conducts educational programs.
Education Forum for candidates set for Sept. 30; public invited to submit questions

Education Forum for candidates set for Sept. 30; public invited to submit questions

August 26, 2014 | 09:53 AM

Do you want to know where candidates for political office stand on teacher tenure, school vouchers, public school and college funding? If so, a forum for candidates would be a good time to ask them and find out their top priorities for education.

To that end, the Beaufort County Schools and Beaufort County Community College have joined together to present an Education Forum for state and local candidates for political office at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the Performing Arts Center Washington High School.

"This forum will be an excellent chance for members of the public as well as those with an interest in education to hear from our candidates for political office on their views of education issues that will affect Beaufort County and the state in the years to come," said Penny Sermons, one of the event coordinators and BCCC Learning Resources and Distance Learning director.

Candidates for the N.C. Senate and House of Representatives have been invited to attend as well as Beaufort County Board of Commissioners candidates.

The public is invited to attend and meet the candidates following the forum. Event planners are also seeking questions from the public about education issues. Questions should be submitted to Sermons by Tuesday, Sept. 23.

A non-partisan committee will review the questions before the event. Moderator David Jordan will give each candidate 90 seconds to answer each question. Following the question-and-answer session the candidates will present closing statements.

For more information about the event or to submit a question, contact Sermons at


BCCC receives Golden LEAF Grant for Agribusiness Technology Program

August 14, 2014 | 10:25 AM

Beaufort County Community College has received a $97,075 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to support the creation and implementation of the college's new Agribusiness Technology Program.

The grant will be used to pay for renovations to a building on the BCCC campus that will house the program, laboratory equipment, safety equipment and computers and will provide one year of salary and benefits for new Lead Instructor, William "Billy" Askew. Ongoing salary and program expenses will be covered by state reimbursement and tuition and fees.

"BCCC appreciates this grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation and is grateful for the economic benefits it will provide our four-county service area," said President Barbara Tansey. "The students within our service area will benefit from the job training offered by the Agribusiness Technology Program and businesses will benefit from having trained workers."

"Over 120 new positions are anticipated in our service area in the agricultural sector within the next 10 years," she said. "This program will train individuals to fill those positions as well as additional positions vacated through the aging of the current workforce."

BCCC's Agribusiness Technology Program prepares graduates for jobs in agriculture such as equipment, feed and agricultural supply sales, store management, farm operations and office management of agricultural products marketing firms.

Students in the program will complete course work in two years for an associate in applied science degree in agribusiness technology if taken full-time. Part-time students will be able to complete the curriculum in a format that fits their schedule.

The Agribusiness Technology Program will also offer a certificate option for students that will give students the chance to take 12 hours of courses they may directly need for a specific job.

In addition, once the program is established, the Division of Continuing Education will be able to provide specific, short-term training as needed for local agribusiness workers and businesses through occupational extension classes and customized training.

"Golden LEAF is proud to support agribusiness, North Carolina's number one industry," said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. "This program will provide a region that relies heavily on agriculture and its related businesses with the knowledge and skills needed to help further growth and opportunity."

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina's economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina's funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on helping tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state.

The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,275 grants totaling more than $561 million since its inception.

For more information about BCCC's Agribusiness Technology Program, contact Askew at 252-940-6304 or at Information about the program is also available on the BCCC website at
BCCC provides training for P & G Manufacturing employees

BCCC provides training for P & G Manufacturing employees

August 12, 2014 | 11:50 AM

Four employees of P & G Manufacturing's Washington plant recently completed Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification coordinated by Business and Industry Services at Beaufort County Community College and East Carolina University.

Topics covered throughout the course included processes for improvement, process mapping and value stream mapping, control systems, theory of constraints and basic statistical tools, among other topics.

Six Sigma is a set of techniques and strategies for improving manufacturing processes developed by Motorola in 1985.

The students from P & G Manufacturing developed projects that not only saved P & G Manufacturing about $275,000 a year but also eliminated steps in the manufacturing process.

"This is just the beginning," said Plant Manager David Overby. "These four students can go back and teach their fellow workers. They're using Green Belt methodologies to save time and money. I'm excited about it going forward."

The training is part of a three-year project funded by a Customized Training Program Grant that was designed, by BCCC's Business and Industry Services, to help the company improve the skills of their workers and increase its workforce. Other training will include supervisory training, blueprint reading and safety training, among other classes

Those receiving certificates and their instructors are pictured, back row, left to right, David Overby, students Ross Barrow, Bernard Cox and Wendy Cooper, Instructor Merwan Mehta; front row, left to right, Instructor Janet Sanders, BCCC Customized Training Director Lauren Dudley and Greg Gardner.

For more information about services offered by BCCC's Business and Industry Services, contact Dudley at 252-940-6311 or Lentz Stowe, director, at 252-940-6306.
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