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Administrators Respond to New State Budget

WINTERVILLE—Though it will be several weeks before North Carolina community colleges receive their final state budget reports, administrators at the schools are aware that the state’s new budget calls for a 1.6 percent reduction in general fund appropriations for the N.C. Community College System.

Upon hearing the news this month, Pitt Community College President G. Dennis Massey said PCC would work hard to meet any challenges that may result from the budget reduction.

“PCC is vital to the economic development of Pitt County,” Massey said. “The state’s proposed biennial budget provides some support but is short on the flexibility we need to respond to local needs. We will continue to do our best to lead the effort in workforce development for our county and region."

PCC administrators explained that state funding accounts for much of the college’s annual operational budget, which also includes local and federal funds.

“Funding from the state budget usually represents approximately 43 percent of PCC’s total budget,” said Susan Nobles, PCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “State funds are used to pay for employees’ salaries, instructional equipment and instructional materials.”

Nobles said approximately 17 percent of PCC’s budget comes from local funds approved by Pitt County Commissioners. That money, she explained, is used to construct and maintain facilities.

Nobles said federal funds represent 25 percent of the college’s budget and provide grants for special instructional programs and financial aid for students. She said the remaining 15 percent is comprised of funding from a variety of areas, including sales and services, non-capital revenue and investment income.

“We appreciate the funds that the state budget provides for equipment and the N.C. Back to Work Program,” Nobles said. “It is essential that we provide the technology and programs needed to train the local workforce.”

Though the state budget includes five bonus vacation days for PCC employees and funding for health insurance and retirement, it does not provide for raises.

“One of our greatest resources is our employees,” Nobles said. “Our college has continued to have significant enrollment growth, which has required our employees to continue to do more and serve more with less. We would like to be able to recognize their efforts.”