PCC Signs on to Educational Partnership with Town of Ayden

PCC President Lawrence Rouse, left, shakes hands with Ayden Mayor Steve Tripp after signing on to an educational partnership between the college and town.

AYDEN—Pitt Community College’s proactive approach to bringing educational services to the communities it serves has resulted in a new partnership with the Town of Ayden.

On July 21, PCC President Lawrence Rouse joined Ayden Mayor Steve Tripp in Town Hall to sign a memorandum of understanding that involves the college providing basic education, job training, continuing education and curriculum courses in Ayden. It’s the fifth such partnership PCC has entered this year.

“Pitt Community College is intent on educating citizens in all of the communities we serve,” Rouse said. “We can’t just sit back in Winterville and simply expect everyone in need of training to come out to our main campus. We must take our services to them the best we can, because it is so important these days for people to get an education beyond a high school diploma.”

Tripp had high praise for PCC and its efforts to develop a skilled local workforce that helps existing business and industry prosper while attracting new employers to Pitt County.

“PCC does a great job and has been very successful over the years,” he said. “It’s been helping Ayden for a long, long time. The people I’ve spoken to who have gone to PCC say it feels like they’re going home (when they visit campus).”

Tripp said Ayden officials are hoping PCC will someday operate a satellite facility downtown.

For now, the PCC-Ayden partnership will focus on supporting the town’s economic development goals. Dr. Johnny Smith, PCC Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, says Pitt is dedicated to creating a highly-skilled workforce that will support Ayden’s goals of recruiting new businesses and providing residents with opportunities to develop and/or advance their careers.

“We anticipate that increasing the pool of skilled workers in Ayden will help the town attract new industry that results in a positive economic impact and lowers unemployment,” Smith said.

In addition to providing courses, instructors and appropriate instructional materials through its agreement with Ayden, PCC staff will assist students with making successful transitions to their desired programs of study. Smith says the college will also provide them with career guidance and academic support.

Ayden, for its part, has agreed to work with PCC volunteers and staff to identify students interested in enrolling in Pitt programs. The town will also provide office and classroom space and coordinate with PCC personnel regarding facility schedules and availability.

PCC’s efforts this year to take programming and services to all parts of Pitt County began in earnest April 30, when the college strengthened its relationship with the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina. A little more than a month later, Pitt administrators signed an agreement for the college to offer services at the Bethel Youth Activity Center.

On July 7, PCC partnered with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office to provide services that will help incarcerated females successfully re-enter society upon their release from the Pitt County Detention Center. Two days later, the school formalized its long-running collaboration with Pitt County District Attorney Faris Dixon by establishing a partnership that offers individuals facing incarceration an opportunity to pay their debt to society through education.