Poverty conversation set for Saturday at Paul D. Camp CC

Published 8:44 am Friday, July 17, 2009

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of multiple priorities and impending deadlines, you are not as attentive as you should be. And this is just what happened with me last week, which resulted in a citation error!

In last week’s column (“Why go to community college? Here are 10 good reasons,” Friday, July 10), I featured a list of 10 reasons for picking a community college. However, I inadvertently credited professors Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman as the authors when, in fact, the author is George R. Boggs, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges and former president of Palomar College (a two-year college in California).

Jacobs and Hyman (whose Professors’ Guide/U.S. News blog cited this list) had invited visiting blogger George Boggs to offer his thoughts on the main differences between the community college and the four-year liberal arts institution and whether you should consider applying to a community college — resulting in the 10 reasons for choosing a community college written by Boggs: affordability, convenience, open access, teaching quality, class size, support services, choices, diversity, access to modern technology, and good company.

I sincerely apologize for this faux pas.

Act on Poverty Discussions

A reminder that area residents have an opportunity this Saturday to participate in discussions focused on identifying ways to reduce poverty at PDCCC’s Regional Workforce Development Center from 10 a.m. to noon in tandem with each of the other 22 community colleges across Virginia. Attendees are asked to recommend specific strategies for the Commonwealth’s Poverty Reduction Taskforce and consideration by local and state officials.

Free and open to the public, the statewide conversations Saturday are hosted and facilitated by the Virginia Community College System, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Community Action Partnership and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

According to Marilyn B. Tavenner, secretary of health and human resources and co-chair of the Poverty Reduction Taskforce, “This will be one of the largest conversations devoted to reducing poverty in our communities that Virginia has ever had. That’s why we’re encouraging elected officials to attend, listen to constituent ideas and share their own.”

Community feedback represents the next step for information gathering by the Poverty Reduction Taskforce, which held the “Rethinking Poverty: Exploring Economic Opportunity for all Virginians” summit on May 7.

While Virginia’s statewide poverty rate is among the 10 lowest in the nation, certain regions are affected much more dramatically than others, with Southwest and Southside Virginia each having rates more than 17 percent. The Virginia Department of Social Services has been actively involved in the Act on Poverty initiative, and representatives of the Virginia Cooperative Extension will serve as facilitators for the local Act on Poverty event.

PDCCC President Doug Boyce said: “The college is thrilled to be a part of this. Our staff, faculty and administrators are in everyday contact with many of the most economically vulnerable people in Western Hampton Roads. It is important that they attend and our community leaders be there to hear them and provide solutions of their own. We couldn’t have better partners to help us make this conversation possible. PDCCC has a long-standing commitment to issues that have a real impact on the community, and poverty is certainly one of the most deeply felt. We’re eager to hear solutions from the public and the leaders of our area about ways we can expand economic opportunities for all residents.”

No advance registration is required for this event. For more details, visit http://www.hhr.virginia.gov/povertysummit/.

Online Skills Classes

In partnership with Ed2Go and Gatlin Education Services (GES), PDCCC offers online open enrollment programs designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional-level positions for many in-demand occupations. All classes can be taken from the privacy and convenience of your home or office. For more information, call 569-6790 or visit the Web sites Ed2Go Online Training: www.ed2go.com/pdcccwf; Ed2Go Pro Online Training (for Business/Industry): www.ed2go.com/pdcccwf-pro; Gatlin Education Services (GES) Online Training www.gatlineducation.com/pdcccwf.

patsy joyner is vice president for institutional advancement at Paul D. Camp Community College. Her e-mail address is pjoyner@pc.vccs.edu.