uac100511001.jpg Fayetteville Technical Community College opened it’s doors 50 years ago because community leaders at the time realized that it was time to modify the economic out look of the state. They realized it would take a skilled work force to take full advantage of the opportunities the future held for them.

FTCC President, Dr. Larry Keene is well aware of the great progress the school has made this past half century and he’s looking forward to making the next 50 years just as productive.

“I am not a hockey player,” said Keene. “But they tell me that when you are playing hockey you skate to where the puck will be — not to where it is — because if you go to where it is right now you will always be late.”

Like any good hockey player, Keene is positioning FTCC to take the lead in technology, job training and whatever else comes along.

That includes staying on top of the latest technologies like interactive learning and 3D training opportunities and implementing them within programs that will benefi t students, who then take these skills and talents into the workforce. FTCC currently utilizes these technologies in applications like health care and construction, but the possibilities are endless. Students are able to not only look at an image of a heart on a screen, but they can virtually journey into the heart and learn its functions as they interact with the image. It is a huge leap from what they can learn with just a book and a plastic model.

One of the things that makes this strategy a success is public/public partnerships and private public/partnerships. In other words, if major manufacturers of products and services fulfi ll a need world-wide FTCC will be there to partner with them, providing education training and working in concert with them to utilize the institution’s effectiveness for their purposes as well. That is the kind of partnership that benefi ts not only industry, but FTCC students and the economy.

The institution currently partners with several local industries including GoodYear, Time Warner, MJ Soffee, K3, RLM Communications and Clear Path Recycling to provide job training for employees. “The Customized Training Program allows us to reach out to local industries and provide state funded training to their employees,” said Brian Haney, executive director of economic development and emerging technologies.

Century Link is a perfect example of this system at work. Vice President for Learning Technologies, Bobby Ervin became aware of Century Link’s plans to introduce “Prism” — a new digital technology — in the area. It involves bringing 20 – 25 new jobs to Cumberland County and an additional 75 jobs to eastern North Carolina. He reached out to Century Link and now FTCC is providing training to employees and job applicants. In fact, there will be a Career Fair on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. for those interested in applying for these jobs.

It would be easy to assume that putting together a training program would be time consuming, especially when it involves high tech objectives, but that is not the case.“

We live in an area that is rich in talent,” said Haney. “We are able to find people with the right skills and contract with them to meet the needs of our partners, and often it is at a much lower cost than if people were travelling to be trained in another city like Raleigh.10-05-11-ftcc-article.jpg

”With one eye on the future, Keene and the other leaders at FTCC have not lost sight of the current needs of FTCC students — and there are many.

When a student comes to FTCC their objectives are vast and varied. Whether it is retraining for a career switch, preparing for a four-year college, starting a new business, venturing into a new hobby or taking on new skills in hopes of a promotion, FTCC is ready to meet the needs of it’s students.

When it comes to meeting the needs of both students and industry partners, the staff know how to make it happen.

“We listen,” said Haney. “Sometimes institutions dictate to their students and partners because they think they know better. We don’t do that. We listen to the needs of the people we are working with and then find ways to meet them.”

“We are all about jobs,” Ervin added. “We educate and train people, work with corporate partners and do whatever we can to help bring jobs to the community and have people ready to fill them.”

Find out more about FTCC and their many programs at www.faytechcc.edu or by calling 678-8400.

Photo: The institution currently partners with several local industries to provide job training for employees.

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