VGCC Assists Local Health Facilities in the Fight Against Coronavirus

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recently donated a variety of personal protective equipment to assist area healthcare facilities in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. Donated items included 3,500 medical gloves, 60 medical gowns, 120 medical masks and 75 medical masks with shields.

The donation is a part of an ongoing partnership between Vance-Granville Community College and area healthcare facilities in working to improve the health of our community.

As word of the national shortage of medical gloves, gowns and masks became public, Vance-Granville Community College President Rachael Desmarais, with the support of the North Carolina Community College System, began exploring all aspects of making the donation of PPE to local healthcare facilities. Dr. Desmarais realized the positive impact the donation would make on our local medical community and made the offer of medical supplies to Maria Parham Health and Granville Health Systems.

“Vance-Granville Community College healthcare students train at area healthcare facilities on a year-round basis. Therefore, we feel a special obligation to share the resources of the community college with our medical community at every possible opportunity. It just so happens that in this instance, our donation has the opportunity to make an immediate impact on public safety,” Dr. Desmarais stated.

Dr. Desmarais and Vance-Granville Community College remain true to the community college mission of service to our community, especially during these uncertain and rapidly changing times. We commend our brave healthcare professionals as they work tirelessly to care for the ill and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

VGCC Brings Partners Together for Summit on Talent Pipeline

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Employers, economic developers and workforce development experts from across the region recently met at Vance-Granville Community College to learn more about how to meet the critical need to recruit and train workers. The first-of-its-kind “Business & Industry Connect” Summit was held on Nov. 1 in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of VGCC, thanked the economic development commission directors in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties for their vision and support of the summit. Along with those agencies, Glen Raven/Sunbrella of Norlina and Mars Petcare of Henderson also served as event sponsors.

Gene Lunger addresses attendees at the VGCC Business & Industry Connect Summit in the college’s Civic Center. (VGCC photo)

The keynote speaker was Gene Lunger, Executive Vice President of Retail Operations for Ashley Furniture Industries, which is the world’s largest furniture manufacturer, in addition to its distribution and retail operations known as Ashley HomeStores.

Lunger argued that businesses must be proactive in focusing on their future workforce. “You have to find solutions to find good people for your organization because it’s not up to anyone else,” he said. “We must help move more students from backpacks to briefcases – by talking to them about the real world, giving them the language they need to use in the professional world and giving them good career information to make up for the bad information they’re getting.”

For example, Lunger advised employers to frequently attend career fairs in order “to meet people, not just resumes.” He said that 90% of their time at a career fair is not recruiting, but is actually career coaching. “Hire based on the attributes of your best performers, not just on a GPA,” Lunger said. “You’re not hiring the person they are today, but the person they will be years from now.” He also urged more investment in people, because “they are the only resource in your business that appreciates in value over time.”

“I’m very grateful to have addressed local businesses and the academic team at VGCC,” Lunger reflected. “There is no doubt in my mind that these two entities can establish a win-win partnership, paving the road for students to effectively transition into the workplace.”

Ken Wilson of VGCC (right) introduces a panel discussion on apprenticeship opportunities. Seated, from left, on stage are Theresa Zook of Mars Petcare, Todd Wemyss of Glen Raven/Sunbrella, Michael Kendrick of Newcomb & Company, Tony Marshall of Innovative Systems Group (ISG) and Kathryn Castelloes of ApprenticeshipNC. (VGCC photo)

After Lunger’s presentation, a panel discussion focused on the topic of apprenticeships, with Kathryn Castelloes, director of ApprenticeshipNC at the N.C. Community College System, moderating. Panelists included Tony Marshall of Innovative Systems Group (ISG), Theresa Zook of Mars Petcare, Michael Kendrick of Newcomb & Company and Todd Wemyss of Glen Raven/Sunbrella.

Marshall said he has seen promising results from his company’s apprenticeship program, focused on cybersecurity. “Nationally, there are going to be about a million unfilled cybersecurity jobs next year,” Marshall noted. “It’s hard to find people with the right skills, so you should find people with the right attitude and then give them the right skills through apprenticeship. The reward is great, both for the company and for the individual apprentice.”

Zook noted that her company works with the community college on apprenticeships. “VGCC has made it so easy for us,” she said.

“It’s very exciting to see the interest in Registered Apprenticeship and the employers that are coming forward to utilize the benefits that it brings,” Castelloes said. “We at ApprenticeshipNC are here to help employers find and train the workers that they need so that they can grow as a company and the state can grow economically.”

Following the discussion, breakout sessions focused on sustainable training, more details on apprenticeships, and workforce development partnerships with public schools. College officials are seeking to foster greater collaboration among numerous partners to reduce duplication, leverage resources and achieve significant workforce impact for the communities it serves.

“The summit was a great opportunity for business and industry to get together, network and find out about K-12 efforts, hiring, apprenticeships and training,” said Ken Wilson, the project manager for VGCC’s TechHire grant and coordinator of the summit. “In the next phases, we are looking for business and industry representatives willing to help steer the Business and Industry Connect initiative to address factors that impact the employee pipeline.”

For more information, contact Ken Wilson at or (252) 738-3259.

VGCC to Offer Enrollment Night on November 19

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold an Enrollment Night on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, from 5 until 7 p.m., at all four of its campuses.

VGCC staff members will be available during those hours to provide information on the enrollment process, academic programs, student support services and financial aid. Advisors will be available to help students register for Spring classes.

Students may visit any campus beginning November 4 to register for Spring Semester. Classes for the Spring 16-week and first 8-week terms start on Monday, January 13, 2020, and a 12-week term starts on Tuesday, February 11.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located at 200 Community College Road, Henderson (Exit 209 on Interstate 85 about midway between Henderson and Oxford).

The Franklin County Campus is located at 8100 N.C. 56., Louisburg (just west of Louisburg).

South Campus is located at 1547 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor (off of N.C. 56, between Creedmoor and Butner).

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

For more information on enrolling, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any VGCC campus.

Jerry Edmonds

VGCC Names Edmonds to Lead Workforce and Community Engagement

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College


Jerry E. Edmonds, III, was recently named Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement at Vance-Granville Community College. In this new position, he will oversee training programs that respond to community needs and prepare students for workforce success, including apprenticeship programs, and support economic development for the region.

In addition, Edmonds will lead the development of partnerships with businesses and government agencies, and coordinate outreach and marketing for the entire college.

Jerry Edmonds, VP of Workforce and Community Engagement. (VGCC photo)

“With the combination of private sector and community college experience that Jerry brings to our college, we look forward to his leadership enhancing VGCC’s ability to serve our communities and build a job-ready workforce,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, the college president.

Edmonds most recently served as Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Halifax Community College. Prior to his role as Dean, he served as the Small Business Center Director at Halifax Community College, from 2014 until 2017. In 2016, Edmonds was a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) award recipient. In addition, he achieved North Carolina Community College System level three certification, in recognition of the highest level of Small Business Center Network proficiency.

Before entering the higher education field, Edmonds held a variety of executive leadership positions within Johnson & Johnson and IBM, where he was the recipient of numerous training, recruitment, marketing and leadership awards.

Edmonds earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis on Marketing, from Marshall University in 1985 and his Master of Science degree in Human Services Management from Springfield College in 2001. He is currently working toward a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin.

Edmonds is active on a variety of community boards including Working Landscapes, a non-profit agricultural organization based in Warrenton; the North Carolina Community College System Workforce Development Leadership Council; and the Roanoke Rapids chapter of Rotary International, where he served as President from 2017 – 2018 and as a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

“The role of Vance-Granville Community College, and specifically the department of workforce and community engagement, is to educate and train students to perform well in existing and future jobs in our service area and beyond,” Edmonds said. “I am excited to join such a talented team of faculty, staff and administrators dedicated to student success and advancement.”

VGCC to Hold 8th Annual Small Business Summit

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-Information courtesy Sheri Jones, Director, VGCC Small Business Center

Vance-Granville Community College’s upcoming 8th Annual Small Business Summit entitled “It’s All About the Path You Choose – Using the Right Strategy to Make the Best Moves.” will be held on Tuesday, October 29 from 6 to 9 p.m., with registration starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Warren County Armory & Convention Center.

Cost is $1o and includes dinner; attendance limited to the first 300 that register.

The registration deadline is Thursday, October 24. To register, visit

Maurice Ashley, the first African – American International Grandmaster in Chess, will serve as the speaker. He is a commentator for the biggest chess events in the world including the World Chess Championships, the US Chess Championships, the Grand Chess Tour and the legendary Man vs. Machine matches between Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue.

He is also the co-organizer of the Millionaire Chess Open, the highest stakes Open chess tournament in history and was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 2016. His motivational speeches look at the character-building effects of chess and how the strategies used in the game translate into strategies for life.

The presenting sponsor for this year’s event is NC IDEA, a private foundation with a mission to maximize the economic potential of the people of North Carolina by supporting the formation and fruition of high-growth entrepreneurial endeavors in the state.

NC IDEA President and CEO Thom Ruhe will give a brief presentation on Ice House Entrepreneurship – an experiential, problem-based program designed to empower learners by exposing them to entrepreneurial thinking while immersing them in entrepreneurial experiences that will enable them to develop creativity and critical thinking, effective problem solving, teamwork, and other entrepreneurial skills – skills that will enable them to succeed regardless of their chosen path.

The event is brought to the area by the VGCC Small Business Center, the Warren County Economic Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce of Warren County and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

VGCC Announces 2019/2020 Psychology Club Officers, Members

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-Information courtesy Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College announces the 2019/2020 Psychology Club officers and group members.

VGCC Psychology Club 2019/2020 Officers, Back – Left to Right: Alondra Torres-Ornelas (SGA Rep), Sonya Barnes (Secretary), Heather Horner (Treasurer). Front -Left to Right: Jacob Comer (President), Cody Greene (Vice-President), and Faculty Advisor/Psychology Instructor Sharon O’Geary. (VGCC Photo)

VGCC Psychology Club Group Members, Back – Left to Right: Deja Overby, Alondra Torres-Ornelas, Jade Puryear, Sonya Barnes, Alvin Foster, Milton Harper, Brian Ramirez, Haley Moore, Natalee Stephens. Front – Left to Right:  Jacob Comer, Cody Greene, Sharon O’Geary (Advisor/Psychology Instructor), Heather Horner. Missing from picture: Kaleigh Booker, Paige Brown, Toni Chandler, Abbi Collier, Mataesha Cheek, Kristich Juengling, Norma Martinez, Dokota Mullins, Latolya Person, Michelle Townes, Isaiah Williams. (VGCC photo)

Reminder: Tour de Vance Registration Runs Through Fri.; Bike Ride Set for Sat.

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Registration is now underway for the Seventh Annual Tour de Vance bike ride, scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2019. The ride has been growing steadily since its inception, drawing families and first-timers in addition to the most seasoned of cyclists for four separate cycling events.

This year’s ride will help VGCC’s Endowment Fund to support scholarships for students enrolled in Health Sciences programs at the college. Programs include Associate Degree Nursing, Radiography, Practical Nursing, Histotechnology, Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technology.

Proceeds from this year’s ride will also go to the Vance County United Way. The organization’s goal is to support the work of local public service agencies such as the Addition Recovery Center for Men, Community Partners of Hope, Smart Start, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, LifeLine Outreach and the Harold Sherman Adult Day Center.

Several different options are available for cyclists. The 9-mile “fun ride” is ideal for youth, families and beginners. A 20-mile course suits riders ready for a bit more distance. Experienced cyclists can choose a 31-mile “Forest and Farmland” circle route through the country or a 62-mile “metric century” that adds to that 31-mile circle route an out-and-back spur to the Kerr Lake area.

The rides will start and finish at VGCC’s Main Campus, located off Interstate 85 and Poplar Creek Road at 200 Community College Road in Henderson.

All riders can register through the Vance-Granville Community College website at Online registration will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18. On-site registration will be an option at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event.

The 9-mile ride will cost $10 for each rider. The 20-mile ride will cost $20 for those who register by Sept. 9, increasing to $25 thereafter. The 31-mile and 62-mile (or “metric century”) rides will cost $30 for those who register by Sept. 9, increasing to $40 thereafter.

“Vance-Granville is honored to once again be associated with an event that has become such a success and a symbol of our college’s 50-year history of community involvement,” said Eddie Ferguson, director of the VGCC Endowment Fund. “Joining forces with the United Way means that we can make an even bigger impact, raising funds for good causes while promoting the importance of exercise and good health.”

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. The 62-mile ride starts at 8:30 a.m., the 31-mile ride at 9:30, the 20-mile ride at 10 a.m., and the 9-mile ride at 10:30 a.m. Law enforcement will accompany riders on the 9-mile route.

Lunch will be provided.

Participating sponsors include Granville-Vance Public Health, Carolina GI Associates PC, Joel Goodwin MD, Barnett Properties, Henderson Fruit & Produce, Prim Rentals, T&T Laundries, Inc., AAA Gas, College Station, Ted’s Catering, and Bearpond Market.

For more information, contact Eddie Ferguson at (252) 738-3264 or

VGCC to Hold Open House, Vanguard Flex Information Session

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold Open House at all four campus locations on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

At Open House, prospective students and their families will have the opportunity to take campus tours, learn more about the enrollment process and explore academic programs in VGCC’s Continuing Education and curriculum divisions.

In addition, the Franklin Campus in Louisburg will hold a Vanguard Flex Information Session on Saturday, October 19 at 10 a.m. in Room F1208.

Vanguard Flex provides adult learners with hybrid courses offered in the evenings and some Saturdays with flexible scheduling. Scheduling options include 8-week sessions with 2-3 on-campus meetings, one Saturday per month class meetings, weekly Live Webinars and more!

More information regarding Open House can be found at

VGCC to Hold Domestic Violence Observances at All Four Campuses

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-Information courtesy Vance-Granville Community College

Join VGCC for the college’s Annual Domestic Violence Observances the week of October 14 – October 17:

Main Campus (Henderson) –

Monday, October 14 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. in the Student Lounge

Franklin Campus

Tuesday, October 15 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Student Lounge

South Campus

Wednesday, October 16 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Building 2

Warren Campus

Thursday, October 17 from 12 until 2 p.m in Room W4103

Students will be able to:

  • Meet area professionals in the field of domestic violence
  • Learn some of the signs of someone in need and where to go to get help for yourself or others
  • Learn about community resources.

Refreshments will be served

This event is co-sponsored by the VGCC Counseling Department and the VGCC Domestic Violence Awareness Committee.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Davis at (252) 738-3350 or

Ducky Derby

VGCC Students Help With Ducky Derby

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-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College students volunteered at Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start’s 10th Annual “Ducky Derby” fundraiser in downtown Henderson on Saturday, September 21.

The Ducky Derby festival, the local Smart Start program’s signature fundraiser, was a sell-out event, with record-setting attendance. Young children and their families watched over 2,250 yellow rubber ducks, purchased by supporters, swim down the “river” on Garnett Street and race to the finish line.

VGCC student Simone Rose assists with F-G-V Smart Start’s 10th Annual Ducky Derby fundraiser in downtown Henderson. (VGCC photo)

A part of the festival included providing entertainment and games for the children, such as corn hole and ring toss, face painting and balloon animals.

Students from VGCC’s Early Childhood Education degree program assisted with implementing the games and helped to make sure that all the ducks had a safe journey down the “river.” Additionally, students assisted with the setup and cleanup of the event.

Participating VGCC students included Tiffany Bailey, Debi Brotherton, Brittaniana Channell, Cornisha Mitchell, Simone Rose and Ashley Wright.

“This event was an excellent example of our instructors and students serving as stellar representatives of VGCC and collaborating with the community we serve and was particularly appropriate since these students are in training to teach and nurture children,” said Antoinette C. Dickens, the college’s Department Chair of Public Service and Work-Based Learning Coordinator.

VGCC’s Early Childhood Education curriculum prepares students to work with children from birth through eight in diverse learning environments. Employment opportunities include child development and child care programs; preschools; public and private schools; recreational centers; Head Start Programs; and school-age programs.

The program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

For more information, contact Dr. Tracey Bennett Carter at (252) 738-3471 or