PDCCC boasts a big workforce impact for its size

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018

by Dan Lufkin

You may have heard that Paul D. Camp Community College (PDCCC) is the third smallest of the 23 institutions in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). While this may be true in terms of the number of students we serve and the size of our campus locations, the impact that we have on our region and the students who complete our programs is huge. With the addition of new programs, business partnerships, and a redefined focus on student success in academic and career placement, each day PDCCC takes a step closer to realizing our vision of becoming our region’s first choice for post-secondary education. A look below offers insight on how we are turning this vision into a reality.

In a 9/2/18 article published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Some good news for working Virginians” written by the Chancellor of the VCCS, Glenn DuBois and CEO and President of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Barry Duval, it was stated that since July 2016, Virginians have earned more than 11,000 valuable, industry-recognized workforce credentials through the State supported FastForward program. Of these 11,000 earned credentials, PDCCC has awarded just over 1,000 in less than two years. With a more concentrated focus on designing and launching programs that service the needs of our region’s workforce demands, we simultaneously are building viable credential and degree programs and grabbing the attention of students and employers. Employers like our programs for the innovation in which they are developed and the quality of highly skilled employees that they produce. Students like our programs because they are short-term, extremely affordable (often times at no to little cost), and lead to direct employment in jobs that offer good pay, benefits and a career track.

One only needs to visit our Warehouse/Distribution/Logistics Training Facility on the last day of class to see students receive a certificate in one hand and a job application in the other. Our career coach works collaboratively with our area business HR directors to put our graduates in front of them. This can happen on the day of the completion ceremony, prior to completion, or arranged after completion in a personal interview.

Our students also are taking advantage of applying for summer internships at NASA, one-on-one training with our expert faculty, and exposure to real-world work experience either in the field or in our high tech laboratories. In addition to several new credit programs in areas such as emergency medical services, robotics, cybersecurity, and welding, we have added 12 new non-credit programs to include Commercial Driver License (CDL), logistics, outside machinist, and FastTrack healthcare where a student can earn credentials in clinical medical assistant, EKG technician and phlebotomy — all in one bundled program.

Look around at the job openings in our region and you will find that all of PDCCC’s programs match the labor force openings. It’s not by chance that little ol’ Paul D. has pumped out over 1,000 credentials since 2016. It was intentional, strategic, and the outcomes were big for our students and our region. We look to being even bigger in 2019!

DR. DANIEL W. LUFKIN is president of Paul D. Camp Community College, based in Franklin, Virginia. He can be contacted at 562-6712 or dlufkin@pdc.edu.