Category Archives: News

Small Business Center at Forsyth Tech Assisting Local Entrepreneurs

Starting and operating a small business is hard work. Did you know that there is a local resource that exists with the primary purpose of helping you achieve business success? Furthermore, this organization provides FREE services. I am pleased to introduce you to the Small Business Center at Forsyth Tech. We provide:

  •  Confidential one-on-one business counseling
  •  Small business seminars and roundtables
  •  Resource center for research and networking

The objective of the Small Business Center Network is to help small businesses succeed by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing business owners. Many of people that you may know have taken advantage of our services. We hope that you will decide to do so as well.

The Forsyth Tech Small Business Center offers new, interesting, and helpful seminar topics each semester. Seminars for the Fall 2014 semester include:

  • Cloud Based Small Business Tools
  • Marketing For Artists and Crafters
  • Enhancing Business Success
  • Keeping Small Business Records and Paying Your Taxes
  • Digital Social Media
  • Developing A Small Business Marketing Plan
  • Website Building 101 for Small Businesses
  • 10 Biggest Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make and How To Avoid Them

The Small Business Center is designed to address the needs of current and prospective small business owners. We want to keep giving you reasons to return to the Small Business Center to take our seminars to help ensure your small business’ success. More than 100 clients participate in our seminars and roundtables each month. We also provide business counseling to about 20 clients each month. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can serve you.

Our motto is “Increasing Business Success” which describes our commitment to our clients. The assistance that we provide to our clients may include business plan development, marketing strategy, operations analysis, strategic planning, expense management, cost analysis, and much more.

We encourage every business owner to commit to ongoing development of their entrepreneurship skills. In Forsyth County, the Small Business Center is located at our new home in Innovation Quarter at 525 Vine Street in Winston-Salem. In Stokes County, the Small Business Center is located on 904 North Main Street in Walnut Cove. Many of our seminars are provided through partnerships with the local Chambers of Commerce, the Enterprise Center at Winston Salem State University, and the Urban League Quality of Life Institute. We also partner with the NC Department of Revenue, NC Rural Center, and the US Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Center encourages suggestions on business topics of interest. Visit them HERE or you can visit us in person at Innovation Quarter. Feel free to contact us at SBC [at] forsythtech [.] edu or by calling 336/757-3810.

You can see a video about the program HERE.

Forsyth and Stokes County Partners Prepare to Help Address North Carolina Skills Gap

Workforce Teams Seeking Businesses to Visit as Part of
Statewide “1,000 in 100” Initiative

(Winston-Salem) – Workforce development partners from Forsyth and Stokes County are looking for businesses to visit as part of the “1,000 in 100” initiative, a statewide effort to match the needs of local companies with skilled employees.

Organized by NCWorks, teams from each of the state’s 100 counties will identify at least 10 businesses to visit by the end of the year. The visits will give business leaders a chance to talk about their employment needs as well as provide education and workforce development professionals the opportunity to hear and respond to those needs collaboratively.

Workforce development professionals hope to use information gathered during the meetings to address the “skills gap” in North Carolina. Employers tell local and state leaders they cannot find qualified employees for the jobs they have available, an apparent disconnect that workforce professionals are working on around the country.

“This is a great opportunity to collectively uncover the workforce needs of the state,” says Alan Murdock, vice president of Forsyth Tech’s Economic and Workforce Development division.
“Equally important is the ability to uncover the workforce needs of our immediate area, which may not be the same as the state overall.”

Locally, members of the Northwest Piedmont Workforce Board and Forsyth Technical Community College are working together to plan visits with businesses in Forsyth and Stokes County.

“The “1,000 in 100” initiative will allow us an opportunity to listen to the needs of business and industry, carefully review their concerns and respond based on our network of partners and services in the most effective and efficient manner,” says Althea Hairston, director of the Northwest Piedmont Workforce Board. “I feel sure this initiative will become a new way of doing business. We all want employers to have confidence in North Carolina’s workforce system and for employers to look to the network of workforce partners as strong collaborators in meeting their business needs.”

Information collected during the meetings along with other data could inform potential policy or changes in how North Carolina delivers workforce services in preparation for the 2015 legislative session. Gov. Pat McCrory introduced NCWorks in April to better align state agencies—including N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community College system and N.C. Department of Public Instruction—with the needs of employers.

For more information, visit

Newsweek Study Ranks Early College of Forsyth in Top 3% of U.S. High Schools

Early College of Forsyth (ECF), located on the Main Campus of Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem, has been named one of America’s top high schools in Newsweek’s 2014 High School Rankings. ECF ranked 365 out of the more than 14,000 high schools considered, placing it in the top 2.6%.

In addition, ECF received special recognition for having equitable academic performance for economically disadvantaged students as indicated by their performance levels in reading and mathematics relative to the NC state average.

Newsweek has published an annual list of America’s top high schools for more than a decade, using a ratio of Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate exams to the number of students graduating. The list is designed to identify those high schools that have high student achievement and do the best job of preparing students for college.

“Forsyth Tech is proud to be the partner in Early College of Forsyth and to have played an instrumental role in the design of such a successful program,” says Susan Phelps, dean of Educational Partnerships for Forsyth Tech. “We are only getting better at meeting the students’ needs and improving the program as time goes on.”

ECF, which is part of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System, opened in 2008 and graduated its first class of students in 2012. Students who are admitted to ECF can earn both their high school degree and their college Associate of Arts and/or Associate of Applied Science degree in just four years, tuition free.

Forsyth Tech Hosts Fulbright Scholar from Australia

Ray Cadmore to Offer Lecture on Integration of Emerging Technologies into Community College Curriculum

This fall, Forsyth Tech is hosting Australian Fulbright Professional Scholar, Raymond Cadmore, through the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce (NCBW) of BioNetwork, which delivers best training practices to areas in which emerging bioscience technology is developing.

Cadmore, who teaches food processing sustainability at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE in Mildura, in northwestern Victoria, Australia, will focus his research on the integration of emerging technology, such as biotechnology and biomanufacturing, into community college curriculum. TAFE, similar to the U.S. community college system, is Australia’s largest provider of vocational education and training.

Cadmore will share his research and observations in a presentation entitled “Integration of Emerging Technology into Community College Curriculum: An Overview and Background” as part of Forsyth Tech’s SciTech Lecture series on Thursday, September 18, at 4 pm in the Oak Grove Center Auditorium, located on the college’s Main Campus, 2100 Silas Creek Parkway (directions are included below).

This presentation is free and open to the public.

During his Fulbright research in the U.S., Cadmore will visit other colleges as well as federal and state officials, tapping into the network of contacts Forsyth Tech has established as lead member of the recently awarded U.S. Department of Labor Community College Consortium for Biosciences Credentials Trade Adjustment Assistant Grant (c3bc).

“I arrived at Forsyth Tech just last month, and already I’m impressed with how closely community colleges working in emerging technology operate with local industry partners,” Cadmore says. “It’s a tight relationship and is providing me with an understanding of the ways industry, government and vocational educators in this country go about engaging with future training needs.

“North Carolina in particular has reasons to be happy,” he adds. “This state went after biotechnology 30 years ago and has stayed ahead in that sector. I’m hoping to bring back home the best practices I’m observing here as a way to help build the Australian biotech and biomanufacturing skilled workforce of the future.”

Cadmore will return to Australia in November.

Directions to the Oak Grove Center, Forsyth Tech, Main Campus:

The Oak Grove Center is On Forsyth Tech’s Main Campus at 2100 Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem. Enter Campus on Miller Street and go to the end of the street. Turn left onto Oak Grove Road, and then turn into the first driveway on the right.


About BioNetwork (

The mission of BioNetwork is to provide high quality economic and workforce development for biotechnology and life industries across North Carolina through education, training, and laboratory resources. Operated by the North Carolina Community College System, BioNetwork offers incumbent worker training, transitional worker training, and pre-employment classes on specific topics and skill sets through hands-on training in simulated industrial environments, through virtual learning, and in face to face learning sessions in one of three BioNetwork facilities or at the industry site. BioNetwork also supports the future biotechnology and life science workforce through teacher training and student outreach.

About NCBW (

The National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce (NCBW) was created through a US Department of Labor High Growth Grant Initiative in September 2004 and operated in this capacity until September 2008. On October 1st, 2008 the NCBW became a part of BioNetwork.

In October 2012, the NCBW became the operational site for the Community College Consortium for the Biosciences Credentials initiative, funded by the US DOL under a round two TAACCCT grant. The NCBW is the operational site of NSF – ATE DUE # 130410 Project Grant called the Bioscience Industry Fellows Program (BIFP).   

About Forsyth Tech (

Forsyth Tech provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for

business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.  


Caption: Ray Cadmore, Australian Fulbright Professional Scholar 2014 at Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech Holds Information Sessions for Short-Term Worker Training Classes in Stokes County

“Forsyth Tech in Stokes County has received a $90,000 Rural Community Mobilization Grant through the NC Department of Commerce to provide short-term job training to the unemployed and underemployed in Stokes County. The program is designed to connect qualified residents with full-time jobs and new careers, and the training will be provided at no cost.

The college will launch this program (“Stokes Works”) by holding the first of several information sessions for potential participants on Tuesday, September 9 at 9 am at the college’s King location at 3111 Big Oaks Drive.

The Stokes Works grant focuses on training qualified residents for in-demand jobs, such as electronic health records specialists, electrical linemen, facility maintenance technicians and welders, administrative assistants, and bank tellers. Classes will begin as early as September, and the program will run through the end of April 2015. Financial assistance may be available for qualifying Stokes County residents.

The program is a collaboration between Forsyth Tech, the Winston-Salem Urban League, Northwest Piedmont Workforce Development Board, and other local agencies, which provide participants with the services they need in order to complete the training, including providing
employer referrals, résumé development, employer connections, interview preparation, transportation and other ancillary services.

“This program is designed to help the un-employed and under-employed in Stokes County find meaningful and gainful employment,” says Ann Watts, director of Stokes County Operations and Off-Campus Centers for Forsyth Tech. “Connecting these people to employers who need skilled workers is a win-win for the program participants as well as the economic prosperity of employers in Stokes and surrounding counties.”

Additional information sessions will be held according to this schedule:

· Wed., Sept. 10, 6 pm, King Public Library, 101 Pilot View Dr, King
· Thurs., Sept. 18, 6 pm, Forsyth Tech Stokes County Center, 1165 Dodgetown Rd. in Walnut Cove
· Fri., Sept. 19, 10 am, Forsyth Tech Stokes County Center, 1165 Dodgetown Rd. in Walnut Cove

All information sessions are free and open to the public.

Residents who have questions about Stokes Works or would like to participate can call Sally Elliott at 336.593.5402, ext. 1101.

Exploring the world on the Wake Forest campus

Middle 66 AUGUST 28, 2014 – Thanks to a field trip to the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, students at Forsyth Middle College know a good deal about the history of Native Americans living in the Carolina Piedmont when European explorers arrived in the 1500s.

Junior Aaron Patterson was impressed by the way the Catawba – or The River People, as they called themselves – would obtain the porcupine quills that they used for needles. They would throw a deer skin over the porcupine. The quills would penetrate the deer skin. They would pull off the deer skin and – voila! – a fresh supply of quill needles.

“It was clever that they used skins they already had – resources they already had – to get more resources,” Patterson said.

He also liked learning that, unlike some games we play today, the Catawba played games designed to help them hone the skills they needed in life.

Middle 67 Junior Andrew “Drew” LeFever liked learning more about Catawba tools and how they were made. “The arrow – that was one of my favorite parts. I thought it was good that the arrowhead was so precise.”

Patterson and LeFever were among 40 Middle College students who headed to the museum on Wednesday morning. Teachers Lisa Nakawatase and Nicole Gottfried divided the students into two groups.

While Patterson, LeFever and others in one group learned about the Catawba from museum educator Tina Smith, the museum’s interim assistant director, Sara Cromwell, sent the other group on a treasure hunt through museum exhibits. Armed with a set of clues, the students found answers by examining exhibits that included Chinese ceramics, weavings from the Asian trade route known as the Silk Road and artifacts discovered on archaeological digs along the Yadkin River.

Middle College is a small high school – no more than 100 students – for junior and seniors on the campus of Forsyth Technical Community College. “It provides a more personal, smaller environment for students,” Gottfried said.

Many of the students also take classes at Forsyth Tech.

Middle 88 Patterson transferred to Middle College this year. “I wanted to be able to have a quiet learning experience with fewer distractions,” he said.

Eric Morris, who is a senior, is in his second year at Middle College. “The relationship between the teachers and students is really nice because of the smaller classes,” Morris said.

His favorite “treasure” so far was a photograph of a Chinook salmon that was part of a photographic exhibit about Alaska’s Yup’ik people. Why was that his favorite?

“I like to fish,” Morris said.

Katie Helms, a senior who transferred to Middle College this year, was also enjoying the hunt. “I like finding things so I like scavenger hunts,” Helms said.

She also participates in geocaching, in which people hide containers filled with small items in the woods and elsewhere and others use a GPS (Global Positioning System) devices to find them. They may take an item from the container and leave something in return.

Middle 47 Helms enjoys being outdoors. Since seventh-grade, she has been walking part of the Appalachian Trail each summer, and, if all goes according to plan, she and her father, David Helms, will complete the trail next summer.

Helms transferred to Middle College for her senior year because the liked the learning environment that it offers. “I wanted a different type of environment to help me transition into college next year,” she said.

Senior Kate Vale was particularly enjoying her finds in the Chinese ceramics exhibit. “My family is artistic and musical,” Vale said. “We have a lot of Asian art.”

This is her first year at Middle College. She chose it, she said, because she prefers the small classes the school offers.

The group also included junior Oliver Sutton, an aspiring pilot who participated in the Tom Davis Aviation Academy this summer. He is also taking flying lessons with Piedmont Flying Training. One day, he hopes to be a pilot for the Air Force.

Sutton said that he is part Croatan, a Native American tribe that once lived on the North Carolina coast, so he liked learning more about another tribe.

Middle 61 Although most students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools started class on Monday, Middle College, which is on the campus of Forsyth Tech, has been in session since Aug. 11. One goal for Gottfried and Nakawatese is to get the students out into the community more this year.

“I think it’s important to get students off campus and into our community and to take learning out of the classroom,” Gottfried said.

Nakawatese said that a field trip also gives students a chance to get to know each other better. “I feel like it builds a sense of family and community with them,” she said.

The trip to the museum aligned perfectly with the school’s curriculum, she said. The students who participated in Smith’s class about the Catawba are studying American History. The students in the second group are studying World History, and, when Smith work worked with them, she talked about the Silk Road. Knowing about the people who came before us is essential to understanding the world today, Smith said. For example, clocks, paper, firecrackers and more than one religion can be traced to the Silk Road region, she said.

Middle 56 You can find out more about Sutton’s experience with the world of aviation at the school system’s good news blog Your Permanent Record.



Kim Underwood

Good News! 200 Jobs coming to Forsyth County with United Furniture Industries Expansion

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced today that United Furniture Industries NC, LLC is expanding operations in Forsyth County. The company plans to create 200 new jobs and invest $5.2 million over the next three years in Winston-Salem.

United Furniture Industries is based in Mississippi and is a domestic leader in manufacturing of upholstery products. The company holds exclusive licensing agreements as the U.S. manufacturer of Simmons Upholstery. United Furniture Industries employs 940 people at four North Carolina facilities in Randolph, Davidson and Forsyth counties. As part of the expansion, the company is combining its manufacturing and distribution hub at a new, larger location in Winston-Salem at the renovated historic Weeks plant.

“United Furniture Industries has had a manufacturing presence in North Carolina for many years,” said Secretary Decker. “This announcement of 200 additional jobs builds on that presence. It also revitalizes the historic Weeks plant, which is a great symbol of Winston-Salem’s textile heritage.”

Salaries will vary by job function, but the annual payroll for the new jobs will be $5,684,000.

“United Furniture Industries is pleased to announce our continued expansion in North Carolina at the former Hanes Mill Weeks facility,” said Larry George, president of United Furniture Industries. “I would like to thank all those individuals and organizations at both the state and local level, who have contributed time and effort to this project. We look forward to expanding manufacturing activities to this facility.”

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $300,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.

“It is great to see one of our existing businesses expanding here,” said Senator Earline Parmon. “These new jobs will be an important addition to our economic growth in Forsyth County.”

State representatives welcomed the expansion and long-term commitment to the community.

“I am extremely pleased that United Furniture Industries has chosen to create 200 new jobs in Forsyth County,” said Representative Debra Conrad. “Our strong workforce and business-friendly climate helped create the ideal location for them and we are excited to see them expanding here.”

“I am pleased that United Furniture Industries is bringing these new jobs to Forsyth County,” said Representative Edward Hanes, Jr. “This is good news for the city of Winston-Salem, the county and the region.”

“I commend the cooperation of Forsyth County, Winston-Salem and Secretary Decker,” said Representative Donny Lambeth. “We’re grateful for United Furniture Industries’ decision to expand here and we’re looking forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership of N.C., N.C. Community Colleges, Forsyth Technical Community College, Northwest Piedmont Workforce Development Board, Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Forsyth County and the City of Winston-Salem.


Staffing will be handled by Debbie’s Staffing.  Debbie’s will handle the screening at three local offices. Job seekers can contact Debbie’s at 336/776-1717 or go HERE.

Students are the true stars

When WXII anchor Cameron Kent walked in the doors of the Stokes Opportunity Center last Thursday it was obvious the students there knew who he was.

But Kent was just one of many stars in the building that day, as he soon learned after meeting with members of The Star Catchers, a group of Lifelong Compensatory Education students who perform well known songs throughout the state.

The ensemble first formed in 2006 when they performed at the Stokes Stomp and have been going strong ever since.

Kris Jonzcak, the Compensatory Education instructor at the Stokes Opportunity Center, said the members of the Star Catchers are composed of students aged 24 to 65 with a variety of disabilities ranging from autism to downs syndrome to traumatic brain injuries.

Jonzcak said when she started teaching at the Stokes Opportunity Center through Forsyth Tech 10 years ago the curriculum for the students was limited to basic life skills.

“It was pretty boring,” she said. “So we started going out and doing free things like going to the library or to the senior center. Then we got a little grant money form Forsyth Tech and we were able to start performing at places.”

Kent was treated to several of the songs in The Star Catchers repertoire during his visit to the center last Thursday. The show opened with a performance by Elvis, followed by Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the dock of the bay,” the Blues Brothers and rendition of Amazing Grace which brought a tears to the eyes of Kent’s wife Sue.

The songs were just part of the wide variety the group offers when it visits local churches and civic organizations to perform. But The Star Catchers are not just limited to local performances, having presented their show as far away as a Philadelphia Rotary club and the governor’s mansion in Raleigh.

The performances are just a part of the arts based curriculum offered by Jonzcak.

“They love the art and the singing,” she said. “We saw that this is the right thing to do. They are told their whole lives that they can’t do something and now they are the stars. We just kept doing it, and after three years the state said we could change the curriculum statewide, in part because of what we were doing here.”

Her classes, which meet three times a week, still offer basic life skills.

“There is still history and geography and finance,” said Jonzcak. “They still get the basic things like your name, address and phone number, but now we also have music and dance and art.”

And they get to share their unique talents with the world. Jonzcak said her students perform outside of the center at least twice a month and also organize art shows to raise funds for their activities.

“I have seen my students blossom and grow through the creativity offered in art,” said Jonzcak. “These are students who are lifelong students. I think they should enjoy everything that the rest of us have.”

In discussing a painting by a student named James Joyce, she describes how it opened up a new side of him.

“Everything he does is very linear, very exact,” she said. “But when we did this art show, he was able to be creative with his art piece and have some curves in it, and some designs that he had never done before.”

That feeling of self-worth is something Jonzcak tries to impart to all the students.

“I try to find something for everyone,” she says, “because everyone cannot be in the play, and everyone can’t do a painting. So that’s the strength of the program, that everyone is able to do something and feel successful.”

Walk into their classroom on any given day and you might find the students working on a mural, singing a song or, very likely, dancing.

“They love to dance,” Jonzcak says, and they’re pretty good at it. Whether it’s old favorites like the hokey pokey or the Cupid shuffle, or something they’re learning for the first time, you can see the joy on their faces as they move and groove to the music.”

The students will be presenting an art show and fundraiser at Divine Llama Vineyards on Oct. 11. The event will feature work by the students and performance by The Star Catchers.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes. Tech Quarterly, a publication of Forsyth Tech contributed to this article.

Pope Foundation Makes Two-Year $52,000 Gift to Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech has announced that the Lawrence E. Pope Foundation is giving the college a gift of $52,000, which will be distributed over a two-year period and used to update and expand the college’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program. A presentation of the initial grant check in the amount of $26,000 took place today at the college’s Transportation Technology Center in Winston-Salem.

In presenting the check to Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green, Jeff Taylor, vice president and chief financial officer of the Pope Companies, and treasurer of the Lawrence E. Pope Foundation, said, “The Pope Foundation has a strong interest in making a difference in our community by supporting the educational needs of our area schools.

check presentation

From left to right:
Axell Torres, instructor, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program; Jeff Taylor, vice president and chief financial officer, Pope Companies and treasurer, Lawrence E. Pope Foundation; Dr. Gary Green, president, Forsyth Tech; and Alan Doub, program coordinator, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology

“This $52,000 gift to Forsyth Tech demonstrates our support for education by helping the college expand its growing Diesel and Heavy Equipment program in order to produce even more graduates who are prepared to go to work in the field on day one.”

Pope Companies founder, Lawrence Pope, had a life-long interest in grading equipment, over-the-road tractors and all manner of diesel-powered heavy equipment, according to Taylor. Pope enjoyed operating heavy machinery on company projects until his late seventies, Taylor added, a legacy that will continue through the Foundation’s support of Forsyth Tech’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment program.

diesel trucks

“We are deeply appreciative of this very generous gift from the Pope Foundation,” said Green. “The Pope Companies, through their deep experience in the truckload transportation business, understand the importance of training a highly skilled workforce to meet the needs of current and future logistic and supply chain management operations. This gift will allow us to accommodate the increased enrollment in this program and meet the challenges of rapidly changing technology so that we can continue to provide our students for years to come with relevant, experiential training using state-of-the-art equipment.”

Forsyth Tech’s Transportation Technology Center is one of the premier facilities of its kind in the southeast.

About the Lawrence E. Pope Foundation

The Lawrence E. Pope Foundation was formed in 2008 by Lawrence E. Pope, a Triad area business executive, who died in 2010. The Foundation is a non-profit corporation located in Kernersville, NC This organization benefits philanthropy, voluntarism and grantmaking foundations, focusing specifically on private independent foundations programs. 

Mr. Pope was an entrepreneur and visionary businessman who started his career with American Tobacco Co., eventually becoming a buyer and plant manager. He left American to form L.E. Pope Building Co, Inc. in 1969, one of the companies in the business grouping known as The Pope Companies. L.E. Pope Building Co., Inc. was a large residential builder, developer, and sales agency in the Kernersville area for many years. In the early 1980s, the company shifted its emphasis to commercial development.  Today, the company owns and/or manages over three million square feet of commercial and residential space in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia. 

Many of the Pope Companies business units deliver procurement, logistics, and supply chain services to the tobacco industry, making it one of the leading procurement and logistics agents for the tobacco industry in the United States. ( 

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech ( provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for

business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.

diesel truck

Forsyth Tech Students Collect Honors In Regional, National, International Competitions

This spring, Forsyth Tech students competed—and came out on top—in several  regional, national and international industry-related competitions, a testament to the quality of training and education they are receiving at the college.

“Throughout the year, our students enter industry-related competitions to help them apply the skills they’re learning in the classroom,” says Conley Winebarger, Vice President of Instructional Services. “We are gratified when our students demonstrate an ability to compete effectively against students in other two- and four-year schools, because it speaks to the caliber of our students and the excellent education our faculty provides.”

Below are photos with short descriptions that highlight the awards Forsyth Tech students have earned in the past few weeks.

Microsoft Imagine Cup Innovation Competition: A Winner in Denmark


Christopher Reyes (above center), a Forsyth Tech student, has spent the past year studying business at Copenhagen Business Academy (Cphbusiness) in Denmark. This spring he and four fellow classmates participated in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Innovation Competition. The team was required to develop a new app and present a business plan to potential investors showing how the app could make money. Chris and his team created a traveling/gaming app that allows tourists to explore cities or countries through a variety of quests that take them to local attractions, businesses and so on. Christopher and his team won the competition at Copenhagen Business Academy, which qualified them for the national competition, facing teams from across Denmark. Chris and his team won that competition as well. For winning the college and national competitions, Chris’ team received Microsoft merchandise and recommendations from Microsoft executives.

SkillsUSA North Carolina: On to Nationals


Ten Forsyth Tech students took first place in their respective team and individual competitions at SkillsUSA North Carolina and will compete in the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City in June. Above are Brittany Clark (right) and Jeremy Hayes (left) who took first place in the 3-D Visualization team category. Both are students in Forsyth Tech’s Digital Effects & Animation program. The other Forsyth Tech students who will participate in the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City include:

Team Competition

  • Automotive Skill Showcase: Maurcio Acosta, Turner Baity, Patrick Oshilds
  • TV/Video Production: Randall Maynard and Justin Dorsey
  • Audio/Video Production: Monica Cooper and Sean Killebrew

Individual Competition

  • Screen Printing (Graphic Arts): RaShaun Edwards

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry that work together to support the development of a skilled American work force in part by sponsoring industry-designed competitions at the state and national levels.

National Bienenstock Scholarship Runner-Up


Alston Willcox (above), a Forsyth Tech Architectural Technologies student, placed second in over 90 entries nationwide in the Interior Design portion of the annual National Bienenstock Scholarship Competition sponsored by the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library. This year’s challenge involved designing a summer camp, recreational building for disabled and well-bodied children. This building also needed to incorporate a two bedroom apartment and office space for the acting director. The project location was set in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Submissions needed to address architectural space planning and design as well as furniture, fixture and equipment selections, including all specifications and schedules. This competition is open to any junior, senior or graduate student enrolled in an accredited college program of furniture design or interior design. The library—a worldwide center for research, design, and collaboration—holds the world’s largest collection of rare and significant books on the history and design of furniture.

Top Tech Challenge: First Place in State


Mark Cobb (right), a student in the Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology program at Forsyth Tech, took first place in the student competition of the inaugural North Carolina Technology and Maintenance Council Top Tech Challenge. The Challenge was held at Forsyth Tech’s Transportation Technology Center on Patterson Ave. in Winston-Salem. Mark earned top place by successfully completing several tasks, including reassembling a disassembled transmission.

Natural Talent Design: Forsyth Tech Takes Top Two Places—Again


At the annual 2014 Natural Talent Design Competition hosted by US Green Building Council  of North Carolina in Raleigh, Forsyth Tech teams placed first and second at the state level for the second year in a row. The project, located in Charlotte, required the teams to design a new, 100,000sq. ft. train station, including a large urban planning component that impacted several city blocks.

Shown above are the members of the first-place team, Team Aspect, who earned a stipend to attend the National Green Build Conference in New Orleans this October (from left to right): Jessica Ballard (interior design student), Allison Carithers (interior design student), Alston Willcox (architecture student), Nathalee Carey (interior design student), and Rosemary Deal (interior design student).


Above is Forsyth Tech’s second place Natural Talent Design team, Team Concentric (left to right): Kelsey Fry (architecture  student), Taylor Hensley (interior design student), Cari Brown (interior design student), Veronica Nielsen (interior design student), and Andy Freeman (architecture student).

Forsyth Tech Student Receives 3M Hire Our Heroes Grant


Eddie Shires, a student in Forsyth Tech’s Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program,  was one of the winners of the 2014 3M Hire Our Heroes Veteran Tool Grant, which entitled him to receive $2,500 in tools. He hopes to use the grant to achieve his dream of owning his own collision repair business one day. The 3M Hire Our Heroes campaign helps support rehabilitation and training and drive employment in the collision and repair industry for America’s returning veterans and their families.

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech ( provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.