Local News

FTCC’s Career Development Center helps students secure employment

12FTCC employThe Career Development Center at Fayetteville Technical Community College is a place where curriculum and continuing education students, as well as individuals in the community, receive assistance in searching for and securing employment.

The CDC benefits individuals by offering services such as job searches, career assessments, seminars, job fairs and information sessions with employers. The CDC also refers individuals to the Human Resource Development Employability Lab for additional assistance with services like resume writing, interviewing and improving workplace soft skills.

The CDC also hosts employer seminars. The seminars consist of specific employers coming onsite at FTCC and talking with students about what it is that they are looking for in job candidates for their companies. The employers discuss the different skills, training and/or education needed in order for candidates to be ideal for a specific position within a company. Employers also often set up a Q&A forum where students can ask their own questions to employers.

A great tool that the CDC uses to assist employers as well as individuals is the College Central Network. Employers utilize the CCN database to post company information and available positions as well as recruit candidates for employment. Students utilize the database to post their profiles and resumes and view available positions posted by employers. The ultimate goal of this database is to meet the needs of students and employers by housing helpful information.

Another function of the CDC is collaborating with the different departmental areas and assisting with job fairs throughout the semester. Job fairs are an excellent way for students to meet with employers in their field of study. Students benefit from attending job fairs through opportunities to network, gain exposure and, in some cases, conduct on-the-spot interviewing.

The CDC is located inside the Center for Business and Industry building at the Fayetteville campus, Room 135, and the hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

FTCC is currently registering students for fall classes in both curriculum (transfer) and corporate and continuing education (non-transfer) programs of study. Curriculum fall classes begin Aug. 20, and the class schedule for fall programs of study in corporate and continuing education is available at www.faytechcc.edu.

The class schedule lists all the available programs and classes along with information about class start dates, cost, course description, location and more. From the home page of FTCC’s website, click “Corporate and Continuing Education” and then “Class Schedule” to see the broad range of programs available this fall.

Visit with FTCC staff members face to face at our Fayetteville, Spring Lake or Fort Bragg campus locations for assistance with class registration, program selection, counseling and more.

We look forward to opportunities to welcome new students, and we always enjoy seeing students return to FTCC for new learning experiences. Enroll in a class this fall and experience for yourself why FTCC truly is the smart choice for education.

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Downtown baseball stadium parking a work in progress

09baseballStadium rendering 1 12The city of Fayetteville has begun collecting data and seeking public opinions during a downtown parking study. Input is being collected through stakeholder committee meetings, public forum opportunities and an electronic survey. The survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Parking_Fayetteville.

The parking study will evaluate current and future parking demands, especially those prompted by baseball games at the new Hay Street stadium. Regulations and performance comparisons to other cities in North Carolina will also be considered. The city received a revitalization and economic development grant to conduct the downtown parking study.

At this point, city officials believe there are enough existing and planned future parking spaces downtown to accommodate baseball fans. Officials believe 1,500 to 2,000 additional vehicles will go downtown for a typical ballgame. One question is whether the city is running a risk of expecting some people to walk three or four blocks to the stadium. City traffic engineer Lee Jernigan said that is not the case, and that parking studies should confirm that.

Park and ride opportunities are a possibility, said Jernigan. “FAST or a private company could provide mini-bus shuttle service,” he added. That’s another one of the things the parking study may determine as to need.

Currently, on-street parking restrictions vary from two to three hours, but they only apply during business hours, Jernigan noted. The city doesn’t use parking meters, but parking enforcement officers patrol the downtown area.

Finding a parking spot for a ballgame will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Downtown parking lots should fill up rapidly, at least those owned by the city. They include the Airborne & Special Operations Museum and Festival Park lots, among others.

Owners of private lots near the stadium have not yet been asked by the city to make them available after business hours, according to Jernigan. Limited spaces at the parking garage, which is now under construction next to the train station, will be for disabled and handicapped parking. Most of those spaces will be for tenants of the new hotel and Prince Charles apartments.

Chances are that city-operated parking lots and the Franklin Street parking deck will be paid parking for special events. Jernigan noted that during the recent Dogwood Festival, people did not object to paying fees. He said motorists will also be charged parking fees during the upcoming International Folk Festival in the fall. “This is a dynamic process for us, which will be tweaked as we go,” he said.

City officials hope the parking study will be ready for review by the end of the year. The new stadium is scheduled to open for ballgames by April 2019.

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Cumberland County welcomes new school superintendent

08Marvin Connelly JrThe No. 2 man with the state’s largest public-school system is now No. 1 with the fifth largest school system. Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr. was formally sworn in as superintendent of Cumberland County Schools last week.

Connelly was named to the position by the county school board back in April, succeeding former superintendent Dr. Frank Till, who resigned in June 2017. Associate Superintendent Tim Kinlaw was the system’s caretaker over the last year and plans to retire. Connelly’s salary is $220,000.

Connelly said he was attracted to Cumberland County because of the success and opportunities in the school system, which he said has a good reputation.

“I think the experience I have had is a good match for what Cumberland was looking for in a leader,” he said. Carrie Sutton, chairwoman of the board of education, said the board is honored, proud and grateful to begin a new journey with Connelly.

Connelly was a military intelligence officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and served in the first Gulf War with a unit stationed in Germany. After his service in the Army, Connelly became a  teacher’s assistant and then a teacher in special education classes. He then became an assistant principal and principal before becoming an assistant superintendent and chief of staff for Wake County Public Schools.

He holds a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from East Carolina University.

Connelly is a North Carolina native. He has begun a whirlwind tour of all the county’s schools.

“We’ll be ... out in the community, listening to the citizenry, meeting with schools, visiting all schools,” he said.

He’s also taking time to meet members of the staff of the school system. Connelly is talking to everyone about some strategic goals that he would like the school system to work toward over the next five years.

Cumberland County has 87 schools and enrolls about 50,000 students. It’s one-third the size of Wake County schools.

In his Ph.D. dissertation presented to the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership at East Carolina University in July 2012, Connelly wrote about partnerships among schools and faithbased organizations. He said in part that “as school system leaders seek to expand partnerships with community and faith-based organizations, it is essential that student achievement be the focus of the partnerships.”

He asserted that such partnerships should focus on mentoring as compared to partnerships that focus on tutoring. He concluded that “to be successful, partnerships among schools and faith-based organizations should focus on student academic and behavioral outcomes.”

He echoed those thoughts in his acceptance speech last April, saying, “Together with the students, parents, teachers, system leaders, community partners and the board, we will establish a strategic plan to attain new levels of excellence for all of the students in the Cumberland County Schools.”


PHOTO: Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr.

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Senate race heats up

06Kirk deViere07meredeithCumberland County Democratic Senate nominee Kirk deViere is taking on one of the Republicans who redrew the district lines in what has become known as political gerrymandering.

deViere said he will hold a series of community meetings to help residents better understand their district. Senate District 19 encompasses most of rural Cumberland County and parts of the city of Fayetteville.

“Our team decided we needed to go into the community and bring people together to share their concerns, solutions and have their voices heard,” deViere said. “I’m going to meet the people in their own neighborhoods and listen to their frustrations.”

He said his meetings will be held in Hope Mills, Gray’s Creek, Pearce’s Mill, Stoney Point, Eastover, Godwin, Wade, Stedman, Vander, Cedar Creek and some neighborhoods in Fayetteville.

deViere is a former Fayetteville city councilman. He is opposing four-term Republican Sen. Wesley Meredith, who is also a former member of Fayetteville City Council. Both men are Army veterans and own local businesses.


Cumberland County Schools safety enhanced

The Cumberland County Schools system has spent $2 million on security upgrades. The projects, which were scheduled over a three-year period, were stepped up after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February. Upgrades have been completed at all but half a dozen elementary schools, and that work should be finished before the start of the traditional school year.

CCS Associate Superintendent Tim Kinlaw told The Fayetteville Observer that securing some campuses was challenging because nearly all classroom doors opened to the outside rather than a hallway. Chain link fences had to be built around all the buildings at those schools.

“Every school is different,” he said. “Our newer schools are easier because they were built with security in mind.”

The school system, which is the fifth largest in the state, has 52 elementary schools, 18 middle schools and 17 high schools. Kinlaw said elementary schools will have buzzer systems with cameras so visitors can be seen by school officials before they are admitted to the building.

Kinlaw said he understands that fences and gates are not pleasing to the eye. The upgrades are meant to give staff members time to lock down campuses when need be to protect students and faculties.

Air drops resupply troops in Afghanistan

U.S. forces in Afghanistan are being supported by way of an unconventional supply line familiar to Fayetteville/Fort Bragg residents. Supplies have been increasingly delivered to remote areas of the country via cargo aircraft and parachuted into Afghanistan to sustain operations against the Taliban this summer.

More than 327,000 pounds of supplies were airdropped into Afghanistan by the end of May this year, with the bulk of those drops occurring in April and May, according to numbers provided by U.S. Central Command’s Combined Air Operations Center.

That number stands in stark contrast to 2017, when the Air Force air dropped only about 33,000 pounds of supplies.

Officially, the Air Force said the spike signals an increase in combat operations against insurgent forces. Capt. Mark Graff, an Air Forces Central Command spokesman, could not expound on where the airdrops were focused, but he did say supplies are not distributed evenly across the country.

Airdrops are often used to resupply or build up smaller and more remote outposts, which heavily dotted Afghanistan before the drawdown in 2014.

Bomb squad robots

Then North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has three new robots to join the battle against violent crime. With 64 calls since January, the members of the SBI Bomb Squad welcome the new robots that weigh about 70 pounds, can go up and down stairs, have six cameras, can lift about 15 pounds and can cut wires. They have the capability to remotely locate and neutralize improvised explosive devices in confined spaces, such as aircraft, buses and trains.

“These new robots will be small enough to enter tight spaces where bomb technicians had to go before,” said Tim Luper, commander of the SBI Bomb Squad.

The unit serves all 100 counties in North Carolina as needed, and assists local authorities in situations involving IEDs, weapons of mass destruction, suspicious packages, homemade fireworks and other explosive hazards.

“The whole reason the bomb squad exists is for public safety,” Luper said.

The three robots were purchased through a $153,000 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission.


PHOTOS: N.C. District 19 Senate candidates Kirk deViere & Wesley Meredith

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FTCC hosts Youth Entrepreneur Camp for ambitious youngsters

12youthcampFayetteville Technical Community College’s Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, along with Wells Fargo, presents the 2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Camp. It is set for Monday, July 30, through Friday, Aug. 3, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on the campus of FTCC. Friday’s schedule is 8:30 a.m.-noon. The camp is open to rising seventh- through ninthgraders who are interested in future business and entrepreneurship goals.

“This will be the ninth or 10th year of having rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders for five days – and it is a fun camp – but they actually learn something in the process,” said Kent Hill,  FTCC director of the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business. “We have a lot of simulations and games, and the students come up with a team business plan or an individual project in which they will compete.”

Successful entrepreneurs will speak to the students and share their insights about their journey with their businesses. “We have a lot of young guest entrepreneurs and they will speak to the students,” said Hill. “We have a young man from Athens, Georgia, who is building a really big business, and he is a freshman in high school.”

Hill added they have had young people take hobbies and monetize them into income streams to help pay for things they want or to save for college.

“We have had the most awesome support from Wells Fargo, and it is not just financial support, it is their involvement,” said Hill. “One of the things the kids do in their teams is to pitch their elevator speeches to get funding from Wells Fargo bankers.” Hill added there is a panel of Wells Fargo bankers who gently coach the students. He said it is a blast to watch the students in action.

“Some of the students who are goofing off get in front of the bankers and get really serious and are really focused,” said Hill. “They are pretty good salespeople when money is involved, and that is a pretty good motivator.”

“We also have some fun games and competitions, and they will compete for prizes,” said Hill. “We are doing something different this year in which the students will tie-dye their own camp T-shirt.”

Hill added the students will also tie-dye additional shirts that they can sell. They will have to buy them from FTCC and sell them for a profit.

“We try to feed them a dozen or more potential businesses that they can reasonably operate in school profitably as a student, legally,” said Hill. “We really want this to be meaningful and want these young people to go out and say they have some alternatives.”

Applications can be found online at www.facebook.com/FTCCSmallBusinessCenter or at http://tiny.cc/ftccsbc. The camp fee is $52 and is due by July 20. It includes a camp T-shirt and lunch Monday through Thursday.

For more information, contact Hill at 910-678-8462.

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