Staff Spotlight

Jessica Long with a student

Jessica Long: A Commitment to Careers

Thanks to a generous $2.8 million gift from longtime Winston-Salem residents the late Robert Strickland and his wife Betty Strickland, the development of Forsyth Technical Community College’s Career Center is underway and includes the college’s first endowed position: director of the Career Center.

Jessica Long stepped into this exciting role, becoming the first-ever director of the Career Center. Long’s passion is to energize students, faculty, staff, and employers with opportunities for growth in career services.

Long will lead the college in integrating all career services and work-based learning into one area. She also wants to offer students more personalized resources, so they’re better equipped with what they need to achieve their career goals.

“We want to transform career services,” Long said. “By integrating college-wide career services, we want to tailor our services to individual students. Our goals are to increase internship opportunities, create and maintain relationships with employers, and provide specialized career fairs on campus to offer students more options. We want to meet students where they are.”

A Winston-Salem native, Long received her Bachelor of Arts in communication from Wake Forest University and her Master of Science in counseling education from UNC Greensboro. Having worked in career services at UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State University, Long most recently worked at Wake Forest University in the Office of Personal and Career Development. She also completed the Leadership Winston-Salem program in 2016.

Thanks to the generosity of the Stricklands, Long will be able to make improvements to the Career Center that foster student success. In recognition of the gift and Bob Strickland’s exemplary career in business and public service, the College Board of Trustees changed the name of the Oak Grove Center to the Robert L. Strickland Center.

“I’m excited to be at Forsyth Tech to remove barriers and promote access to resources and jobs for our students,” Long said. With her leadership skills and commitment to career services, the future of Forsyth Tech and its students is brighter than ever.