SANFORD — Presidents from 10 North Carolina community colleges (including Randolph Community College) and two universities (NC A&T and NC State) gathered in Sanford with workforce development leaders on Sept. 21 to sign an initiative known as the AdvanceNC charter.
RCC President Dr. Shah Ardalan was among those signing the charter, described as an innovative work-force development ecosystem developing a robust talent pipeline to support unprecedented economic growth in North Carolina.
The collaboration combines strengths from community colleges, universities and workforce boards to address the needs of thriving regional employers and positioning North Carolina as a global leader in advanced manufacturing.
“Through AdvanceNC, we will work tirelessly to empower our students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in the advanced manufacturing sector,” Ardalan said. “This initiative signifies a commitment to innovation, growth, and prosperity, and we are excited to be a part of a transformative journey."
Gov. Roy Cooper was among those on hand for the event.
“There is so much good going on here from VinFast to Toyota to Wolfspeed bringing great-paying jobs right here to the central part of our state,” Cooper said. “We are the number one state in the country for business.
“When you invest in people, you invest in success, and education is the backbone of our economy and our workforce.”
The consortium recently applied for funding and designation of central North Carolina as an Economic Development Administration “Tech Hub.” If successful, the proposed project — known as the Central Carolina Cleantech Hub (C3H) — will strengthen the region’s ca-pacity to manufacture, commercialize and deploy critical clean energy technologies.
The AdvanceNC partners are:
- Alamance Community College.
- Capital Area Workforce Development Board. n Central Carolina Community College.
- Durham Tech Community College.
- Durham Workforce Development Board.
- Fayetteville Tech Community College.
- Johnston Community College.
- Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board.
- Lumber River Workforce Development Board. n Mid-Carolina Workforce Development Board. n N.C. A&T State University.
- N.C. State University.
- Piedmont Community College.
- Piedmont Triad/Regional Workforce Development Board.
- Randolph Community College.
- Sandhills Community College.
- Vance-Granville Community College. n Wake Tech Community College.
RCC is committed to providing relevant career training and educational opportunities. Affordable degrees and short-term certificate programs start throughout the year, both in person and online. For more information, call 336-633-0200 or visit www.randolph.edu.