PDCCC receives workforce education award at Opportunity Inc. meeting

Published 10:14 am Friday, October 20, 2017

by Wendy Harrison

Paul D. Camp Community College was among the honorees at the Opportunity Inc. annual meeting and Workforce Innovation Awards event held recently in Chesapeake.

The education honor, presented by President of Tidewater Community College Dr. Edna Baehre-Kolovani, was awarded to Paul D. Camp for its “lasting impact in its industry, through efforts to strengthen Hampton Roads’ workforce,” according to Opportunity Inc.

PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin, Vice President for Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts and Director of Workforce Development Angela Lawhorne attended the event. This award is just one confirmation that the community college is making progress under new leadership. Lufkin was just officially inaugurated Oct. 6, but has implemented change since coming on board in June 2016.

“I have shared my vision of making PDCCC the region’s first choice for postsecondary education, and occupational/technical training,” said Lufkin. “One aspect of this is creating needed programs that put our students to work, in addition to providing our business/industry partners with skilled workers. We are proud of our collaborations with community and business stakeholders and will continue to enhance these relationships.”

The creation of a partnership with Shipper’s Choice in Suffolk has allowed the college to offer truck driver training, preparing students to test for a Commercial Driver’s License.

Another example of Lufkin’s response to workforce needs is the establishment of a new industrial maintenance electrical and instrumentation lab, also taught at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus.

Programs have also been expanded and created for the college’s Franklin campus and the center in Smithfield. “Feedback from advisory committee members assist us in our training,” said Felts. “Our workforce center also has individuals serving on Career and Technical Education committees at all three local school divisions.”

In addition, the college works alongside local economic development teams to monitor current and future business needs. “We are committed to creating portable, stackable credentials for in-demand jobs by offering relevant curriculum and programs,” said Lawhorne.

Awards for Community, Business and Regional Innovator were also presented. Gov. Terry McAuliffe received the Workforce Champion of the Year Award, and served as keynote speaker at the event.

“For a small college, it is an honor to know that we are making a difference in our community and changing lives,” said Lawhorne.

WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College. She can be reached at wharrison@pdc.edu.