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My Turn, Carol Spalding: Rowan-Cabarrus poised to train, educate workforce

By Carol Spalding

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. In addition to endangering our health and safety, this crisis has transformed education at all levels, closed local businesses and resulted in temporary layoffs and permanent job losses. During these unprecedented and difficult times, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College stands ready, as always, to improve lives through the power of learning.

The COVID-19 public health crisis has added a new sense of urgency as the citizens of Rowan and Cabarrus counties work to adapt to unexpected challenges and unprecedented uncertainty. It is important to look to the future.

Our way of life has been disrupted and many people are trying to determine their next move. Whether it’s the start of a college degree, a career change, a short-term job training program, a new industry certification or a high school equivalency diploma, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers a variety of options for high school students, recent high school graduates and adults of all ages from all walks of life. In a time when many are uneasy and anxious, we offer hope and a positive path forward.

• As classes move online, many recent high school graduates are electing to stay home and take community college classes that will transfer to four-year institutions rather than moving into dorms and risking uncertain living situations. Rowan-Cabarrus offers the same high-quality classes available at four-year colleges and universities for a fraction of the cost and with smaller classes and more personal attention from faculty.
• We train essential workers to keep our citizens and communities healthy and safe, including health care workers, fire and police professionals, truck drivers and more.
• We offer targeted job training to help people get back to work quickly (many times in eight weeks or less) after a job loss, with programs leading to in-demand jobs in manufacturing, construction trades, logistics, information technology and other fields.
• Our career counseling services can help people improve job skills, build a resume, explore employment options and connect with local companies.
• Our Small Business Center offers counseling and recovery strategies for local businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

With our proven track record of helping Rowan and Cabarrus counties adapt to change and look toward a brighter future, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a vital resource for local education and workforce development. As we all work to recover and react to the challenges this pandemic has set before us, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College stands ready and is able to deliver affordable, relevant education and training to help individuals continue to learn, grow and navigate forward, no matter what the circumstances.

Registration is still open for the College’s second eight-week minimester, which begins on October 19.

The citizens and businesses of Rowan and Cabarrus counties are our partners, friends and neighbors. As a community, we are resilient and capable. If there is anything that we can do to help you during this challenging time, please reach out. We are all in this together.

Carol Spalding is president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

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