On Wednesday, March 14, President of Forsyth Technical Community College, Gary Green presented Bill Adams, part-time director of occupational extension the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – one of the most prestigious awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina.
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which have made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.
“Bill Adams has made invaluable contributions to the education of North Carolinians, beginning with K-12 education and, for more than 40 years, North Carolina’s community colleges. His life’s work has been ensuring career opportunities and hope for the future for countless people,” Green said.
Adams holds his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education, a Master of Science and a doctorate in Occupational Education, all from North Carolina State University.
Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree, he began his teaching career at Western Alamance High School in Elon, N. C. in 1965.
His career in the North Carolina Community College System began at Davidson County Community College in 1969 and continues today at Forsyth Technical Community College. Adams’ experience spans every President of the North Carolina Community College System from the first President of the Department of Community Colleges, I.E Ready, to the current acting President, Jennifer Haygood. He has been active in the North Carolina Community College Adult Educators Association (NCCAEA) since 1982. Adams served as President of NCCAEA from 1998-1999 and in 2008 was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the organization.
Three community college programs initiated by Adams are still in operation today. At Davidson County Community College, he started the horticulture program in the 1980s through the Continuing Education division at the local men’s prison as he knew men who are released might find barriers in getting a job. He felt that there might be more opportunity for men working in horticulture or landscaping careers.
Another program initiated by Adams in 2000 was the Truck Driver Training Program at Davidson County Community College. The program, which began as a Continuing Education program is now a curriculum program and is still regarded as one of the best in the state of North Carolina.
Most recently, in partnership with Pike Electric and Duke Energy, Adams started the Electrical Lineman Program at Forsyth Tech for the training of new line workers. The program was launched in 2010 and is the only program in North Carolina that is nationally certified through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The job placement rate of this program is 80 – 100 percent.
Jeanie Moore, retired vice president of advancement and continuing education said, “Bill is a hard worker, dedicated to providing quality programs and training opportunities to the citizens of North Carolina.”
Robert Leslie, dean of corporate and community education at Spartanburg Community College, who nominated Adams said, “I knew Bill for fifteen years before I knew he had a doctorate degree because Bill is simply Bill to his colleagues and his students. He is a highly respected man in the North Carolina Community College System.”