Career and College Promise Offers High School Students a Head Start on College Credits Tuition-Free

Winston-Salem, N.C. – As this school year begins, all Winston-Salem Forsyth County high School students will be taking classes online for at least the first nine weeks of the semester. Through the Career and College Promise if they choose, they can also gain free college credit by enrolling in courses at Forsyth Tech.

One student who recently completed the dual enrollment program, Onolunosen (Ono) Abhulimen graduated this spring from Mount Tabor High School and Forsyth Technical Community College with her associate in science degree. She was among approximately 59,000 high school students across N.C last year, who took these courses, saving both time and money toward a college degree.

Abhulimen decided to enter the dual enrollment program as she said, “because of my zeal to broaden my intellectual curiosity in more advanced subjects while experiencing a higher education environment. While extremely challenging, the dual enrollment program has given me the template that will become valuable in navigating my next stage on a full journey in higher education. I certainly felt it was the best way for me to prepare myself for the next level.”

To say she was busy is an understatement. Abhulimen said “During that time period I learned a lot about time management, prioritization, commitment and determination. There was no luxury for procrastination as deadlines were stacked on many deliverables. While the work was challenging, I absolutely looked forward to the varied experiences in the two school environments on a daily basis.”

Weighted the same as Advanced Placement courses, college transfer courses are equivalent for grade point averages on high school transcripts. By the time students graduate from high school, some students earn enough credits for a community college degree or credential.

RiverRun to screen ‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ at Marketplace Drive-In

The RiverRun International Film Festival will screen the film “John Lewis: Good Trouble” in partnership with the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro at the Marketplace Drive-In in Winston-Salem on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Using interviews and rare archival footage, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using personal interviews with Lewis, who died in July at 80, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, congressional colleagues and other people who figured prominently in Lewis’ life.

“We are certainly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to bring John Lewis’ remarkable story to our drive-in audience,” said Rob Davis, RiverRun’s executive director. “The impact that his life and his career had on history will be felt for generations, and to get to share this film so soon after losing Congressman Lewis is especially poignant to us. We are also extremely honored to be presenting this film in conjunction with the International Civil Rights Center & Museum just down the road in Greensboro.”

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King Library offers services to job seekers

As the King Library re-opened on July 13, free services for job seekers will start again by appointment only. Forsyth Technical Community College, in partnership with the King Library, offers Career Connections. The services offered are: writing resumes and cover letters, assistance in completing on-line applications, learning interview techniques, setting-up emails, filing unemployment and acquiring tips on looking for job listings.

Duke Energy Provides Grants to Support Apprenticeship Program at Forsyth Technical Community College

Leap Logo: Learn and Earn Apprenticeship Program at Forsyth Tech

The funding of two grants will provide opportunities for registered apprenticeships.

Duke Energy has provided two grants for the Registered Apprenticeships Program at Forsyth Tech. In Fall 2019, Duke Energy gave $200,000 to support apprenticeships and in June 2020, Duke awarded $50,000 to support apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs at Forsyth Tech through the Learn and Earn Apprenticeship program.

“In order for our community to thrive, we must work together to fill jobs with skilled employees,” said Janet Spriggs, president of Forsyth Technical Community College. “Through our Learn and Earn Apprenticeship Program (LEAP@Forsyth), students get on-the-job training while in school, giving them new insight in what they are learning in class. This program is giving underemployed or unemployed individuals an opportunity for a rewarding career.”

This grant is part of the $5 million Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas Community College Apprenticeship Grant program announced in April 2017. The apprenticeship grant program was administered by NC Community Foundation and Foundation for the Carolinas. Award decisions were made by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce.

“North Carolina’s community colleges are essential to train the workforce that businesses rely on,” said Jimmy Flythe, Duke Energy director of government and community relations. “We are proud to partner with Forsyth Tech to give students job opportunities while preparing them to meet the region’s evolving business needs.”

Since 2004, Duke Energy has invested $45 million in North Carolina’s Community Colleges, with a focus on technical education and support of business and industry.

Here’s how three Forsyth Tech computer numeric control machinist apprentices express what the grant means to them. “The Duke Energy Apprenticeship grant opened up opportunities for both me and my spouse,” said Colin Tomkins, with Siemens Energy. “This scholarship, quite literally, gave me the opportunity to start my career.”

Tompkins had just moved from Atlanta a few months before the apprenticeship program began. He was able to accept this scholarship with no savings and otherwise no way to pay for college. Also, because he didn’t have to worry about the cost of his  education, he and his wife were eventually able to save up enough money for her to start earning her second degree starting this fall.

“The Duke Energy Grant has helped me on the path to learning a trade and into a new field of employment,” said Debbie Moore, with Siemens Energy. “I am so grateful for the opportunity that the grant has afforded me, thanks to Duke Energy.”

“Every student fears college debt, but with the Duke Energy Apprenticeship grant I can focus on my classes and the job I’ve been given without the crushing weight of tuition on me,” Brixtin Harvey, with Progress Rail. “The difference this grant has made can be seen in the lack of bags under my eyes every single day.”

Apprentices gain access to jobs in demand for the Piedmont Triad area and puts them on a career path that, with further education and experience, can lead to wage growth and a rewarding career.

“This grant provides a tremendous opportunity for adult students who may not qualify for tuition waivers that youth apprentices receive, said Danielle Rose, apprenticeship coordinator at Forsyth Tech. Because of this funding, we can recruit and train a broader workforce for our employer partners.”

“We are grateful to Duke Energy for this support,” said Spriggs. “Teaming up with Duke Energy  we’re addressing these critical needs and increasing economic opportunities. This is one more way that Forsyth Tech is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.”

If you are interested in the Learn and Earn Apprenticeship program, please contact Danielle Rose, apprenticeship coordinator at Forsyth Tech.

Art changes Winston-Salem visual artist’s life

Her high school years “never clicked,” visual artist and entrepreneur Mahala Sahara Preudhomme said.

“I was never studious,” Preudhomme said. “I just wasn’t a good student.”

But she comes from an educated and well-traveled family.

“That was No. 1 to my mom,” she said. “You must have an education, and that meant a master’s degree.”

In 2014, Preudhomme graduated from West Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem then attended Forsyth Technical Community College.

While leaving the college after one year of studying for an associate in arts degree, Preudhomme discovered her groove.

“I always had art supplies so I just started drawing in my free time,” she said.

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Somewhat of a sponge and proud of it

I lived in Winston-Salem for over five years before I finally discovered Quarry Park. Have you ever been?

It was Community Day as part of a Leadership Winston-Salem (congratulations to class of 2020, by the way), and the objective of the day’s itinerary was to teach our class about various parts of the city.

This objective, the idea of learning something new, was the very reason I loved Leadership Winston-Salem. I’m a nerd at heart and consider myself a sponge of sorts. According to my CliftonStrengths Assessment results (Input), I’m a collector of words, further proving my obsession with learning new things.

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Forsyth Technical Community College Hosted U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Rep. Virginia Foxx

FOXX - SCALIA Visit

Forsyth Technical Community College Hosted U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Rep. Virginia Foxx

The roundtable discussion focused on ways community colleges can offer multiple pathways for students straight into careers or transfer into a four-year university.

On Friday, July 17, Forsyth Technical Community College (Forsyth Tech) hosted U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx at the College’s Small Business Center and the National Center for Biotechnology Workforce in Innovation Quarter. During a brief visit to the Biotechnology Lab and a roundtable conversation, College leaders shared information about the variety of programs offered by Forsyth Tech including short term workforce certifications, career technical education and college transfer degree programs, apprenticeship programs, and career and college transfer dual enrollment opportunities for high school students.

Leaders from Forsyth Tech included President Janet N. Spriggs, Jennifer Coulombe, dean of Business Services; Paula Dibley, associate vice president for Marketing/Recruitment and Educational Partnerships; Jason Gagliano, lab coordinator for the National Center for Biotechnology Workforce; and Allan Younger, director of the Small Business Center at
Forsyth Tech.

“We were thrilled that U.S. Secretary Scalia and Representative Virginia Foxx spent time with us and were interested in discussing how community colleges are drivers of workforce development, especially at this time in our lives,” said President Spriggs. “They were specifically interested in learning about apprenticeship programs like our Learn and Earn Apprenticeship program (LEAP at Forsyth Tech), cybersecurity and dual enrollment opportunities for high school students.”

LEAP at Forsyth Tech, began in 2019 as a structured collaboration between Forsyth Tech as the apprenticeship sponsor and instructional provider and local companies committed to employing apprentices throughout the education journey.

Spriggs said often students with four-year degrees come back to Forsyth Tech to gain a marketable skill, what is known as ‘reverse transfer.’ “Their focus is on learning the skills they need for available jobs and they come to us for that workforce preparation and to earn the certification they need to enter new careers. For many students, community colleges should be the first choice, not the last resort, and we are working hard to make sure high school students and graduates, and all the members of the communities we serve, know the value Forsyth Tech adds to workforce and economic development. We need to end the stigma associated with community colleges.”

Triad community college releases fall semester instruction plan

Forsyth Tech Community College will begin the fall semester with an instruction strategy that includes sessions held in person, online and a combination of both. As Covid-19 mitigation efforts continue, FTCC will offer students course delivery options in a variety of formats for the semester that begins Aug. 17 and concludes Dec. 9.