Thomas Stith III, president of the North Carolina Community College System, met with trustees and other guests during a recently visit to Piedmont Community College (PCC). While on the Person County Campus, Stith gained knowledge of College initiatives and shared his goals for the “Great 58”, referring to the 58 community colleges in North Carolina.

He noted that while the “Great 58” is the third largest community college system in the country, that North Carolina schools are first in excellence, as they “touch lives, change lives, and save lives.”

During his visit, PCC President Dr. Pamela G. Senegal shared various initiatives, including the College’s new One College Model, Center for Educational and Agricultural Development (CEAD) project in Caswell County, and plans for an Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Person County.

Noting that education equals opportunity in our communities, President Stith shared his “three pillars”:

  • Serve as the first choice for affordable and accessible education, allowing for a pathway to success;
  • Participate and lead economic development and prepare our workforce for the future;
  • Find strength is the diversity of ideas and backgrounds as we come together as  a state to compete globally.

To showcase PCC’s efforts in preparing our workforce, President Stith was asked to demonstrate the College’s forklift simulation equipment. The state-of-the-art simulator was purchased with grant funding from Golden LEAF Foundation and allows students of all ages, including those still in high school, to experience and train on forklift operations.

At the close of the meeting, while meeting with College Trustees, President Stith praised Dr. Senegal’s leadership. “You have a special president. She is a leader amongst her peers and across the state of North Carolina.”

He went on to encourage the PCC Team to continue working towards progress. “You have excellent leadership and excellent vision. Continue to advocate for the benefits you provide in both [Person and Caswell] counties. We are here to support you and will continue our collaboration as the North Carolina Community College System leads our state forward.”


Photo: North Carolina Community College President Thomas Stith visits PCC. In addition to speaking with leaders at the community college, he also participated in a forklift simulation experience.

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