Beginning July 8, Halifax Community College (HCC) opened three community education centers throughout Halifax County. In partnership with Halifax County Schools, and with funding from the Golden Leaf Foundation, the centers provide educational opportunities throughout the region.
The three centers offer both curriculum and continuing education classes for local residents. The goal of the centers is to bring education to the residents, making it easier for area citizens to receive the training and education they need for the future.
“The opportunity for adults to take college classes in their local community is a game changer,” said Dr. Jeffery Fields, Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Dean of Curriculum. “The future looks much brighter with an easy path to upgrade your education at your pace close to home. Our Community Education Centers, or satellite sites, deliver an easy option to earn a college degree locally. Community members can locally attend live college classes during a few evenings per week toward a degree that can transfer to a bachelor’s degree. The local centers also offer access to online classes where many times broadband Internet is not available in rural areas.”
The first three classes offered at the sites were a three-class employability skills program. When fall classes began, more classes and programs were offered, including the Advanced Manufacturing Institute. The Institute consists of 96 total hours, with multiple certifications earned along the way.
“I am thrilled to work with advanced manufacturing companies in our communities that are growing and constantly have open positions that need to be filled,” Fields said. “However, there is a skills gap of identifying future employees with the additional skills that are needed in an advanced manufacturing setting. By offering the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at all three satellite sites, these skills are now obtainable locally to all of our residents. It’s a good feeling to know once folks complete the short term training offered in Advanced Manufacturing Institute, there are employers that are waiting for them to complete and be recruited to work for them in good paying jobs.”
Funding for the three community education centers is provided by the Golden Leaf Foundation. The grant, submitted in partnership with Halifax County Schools and Halifax County leadership, has the aim of bringing education and training within ten miles of every resident in Halifax County. Under the current plan, the three centers will serve as a springboard for future centers.
"A rural community such as ours brings with it a set of unique challenges that includes access to internet, transportation, and resources to provide crucial workforce and educational training,” said Dr. Michael Elam, president of HCC. “I am delighted that the Golden Leaf Foundation recognizes the importance of investing in the rural community to address these challenges. Funding the Community Education Centers helps Halifax Community College take education and training to within 10 miles of every Halifax County resident.
This mission is made possible only by the wonderful partnership established between Halifax County leadership and services, Halifax County Schools, Golden Leaf Foundation and Halifax Community College. By working together we will be able to significantly address these persistent rural issues that continue to slow the economic development of our region. I look forward to the implementation of these strategically located centers that will offer workforce and educational training throughout Halifax and western Northampton Counties"
The three community education centers are at the following locations:
Scotland Neck Primary School, 901 Jr. High School Road in Scotland Neck , Hollister Elementary School, 37432 NC-561 in Hollister, and on the campus of HCC at 100 College Drive in Weldon.
Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.