Making the Right Call

Sherron Richardson

Sherron Richardson retired from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in 2012, after faithfully serving thousands of children as a bus driver for 23 years. “I decided I wanted to go back into the workforce,” she says. “I wanted to have a chance to get out and not just stay at home.”

That’s when she decided she wanted to pursue a second career, and enrolled in Goodwill and Forsyth Tech’s Call Center Customer Service Class. “I love talking to people,” Richardson says. “Most of my work over the years has been using that skill. I knew I wanted to use it – but in a different way. This time, I needed the confidence to talk to people I don’t see.”

The six-week, 96-hour program is a partnership between Goodwill and Forsyth Tech. Goodwill’s IT Department provides the classroom space and workstations, and the class is taught by instructors from the college. “The class is completely hands-on,” said Nell Perry, who serves as the Business Center Coordinator of the Business and Industry Services with Forsyth Tech’s Economic & Workforce Development Division. “Students make, on average, about 300 outbound calls on behalf of local businesses who’ve agreed to be a part of the training. In Sherron’s class, they made calls on behalf of the Better Business Bureau, whose leaders were looking to update their records.”

The training includes everything from learning vocal pauses, to marketing products, to dealing with all types of customers. “Students learned to work with a variety of customers—from those that make you cry, to those that leave you smiling when you hang up the phone,” Perry said.

At the end of the class, students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be gainfully employed.

“Along the way, we also develop character,” Richardson says. “This program helps us choose to be successful with a common goal: we desire greatness.”

Find more information about the program, including how you can enroll, here.

Sherron Richardson doing a test call as part of the program

Sherron Richardson doing a test call as part of the program.

Forsyth Technical Community College Issues Critical Deadline for Incoming Students

On December 5, 2016, the tuition application process by which students applying at colleges and universities across the state changed. In the past, students applied for residency at each individual institution they applied to attend – and the college or university itself determined eligibility for tuition purposes. With the Residency Determination Service (RDS), students now fill out one form to be used at all colleges and universities they apply to, and an outside organization, College Foundation, Inc. (CFI), makes the determination.
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Building Bridges

Students attending the International Conference

Winston-Salem and The Republic of Belarus are more than 5,000 miles apart, but students from Forsyth Tech and Belarusian-Russian University’s Architecture Construction College are bridging that gap through a unique and historic collaboration.

On April 28, interior design and architecture students from both colleges took part in their first live international conference.  They used Skype to present outstanding projects through live interactive dialogue.

“People talk about how the world is getting smaller, and this is an example of how we are shrinking diverse groups globally,” says Herb Burns, Department Chair of Forsyth Tech’s Design Technologies program. “This is an exciting opportunity for two different groups to interact with each other.”

Students at Forsyth Tech presented conceptual designs for the college’s new Interactive Learning Commons and Library.

“We used six different programs to produce digital 3D models,” says architecture technology student Jake Denton. “This was a great opportunity to establish a relationship and rapport with students in another country. There’s a lot to look forward to in the future.”

“We are starting the conversation about this project, so that five years down the road when design professionals are brought in, the dialogue has already begun with what the campus community wants,” said Interior Design Program Coordinator Giselle Taylor-Wells.

Students were able to ask each other questions about their projects with the help of a translator. Belarusian-Russian University students presented several things they were working on, including 3D digital modeling for a historical church in Belarus.

“It was neat seeing their projects and how they went about the process,” says interior design student Rachel Due. “It feels great to be a part of history.”

The effort is part of a continuing partnership between the two colleges, which has been going on for 11 years—but the first time that Forsyth Tech hosted a live international conference.

“We’re a resource to their students, and want to grow student interactions between our curriculums,” Burns says. “Our vision and next steps are to jointly collaborate on a program and develop an exchange program.”

Students and faculty from both colleges say they were impressed and inspired by each other’s projects, resources and techniques.

“I didn’t know what to expect at first,” says architecture student Daniel Turick. “This was an amazing opportunity. They’re students just like us.”

Plans are already in the works for a second live international conference.