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
“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.”