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Locally-Based Gifted Faithful Ministries Assisting Orphans in India

-Information and photo courtesy Pastor Mike Holland, Gifted Faithful Ministries

Mike Holland, pastor of Gifted Faithful Ministries, is currently in India for a month to assist groups that house and care for orphans with sustainability projects.

“We have missions in Mexico City caring for and feeding homeless children there and are partners with several in India, one being a boy’s home,” said Holland. “I have spent a month helping with sustainability projects, as well as traveling and preaching throughout northern India.”

Gifted Faithful Ministries, based in Warren County, also assists people in crisis locally and throughout the country. “We help people in crisis locally, provide emergency housing when needed and are deeply involved with the Henderson Men’s Shelter. We also support several storm crisis events in NC and other states – such as Texas and Florida – and reach globally,” Holland said.

Speaking of global reach, Holland is glad that he can stay up-to-date on local news by tuning in to WIZS’ Town Talk program online from India. “It is pretty amazing that I can listen to Town Talk in a remote desert halfway around the world!”

For more information on the efforts of Gifted Faithful Ministries, please visit their website at www.giftedfaithful.org

Mike Holland, pastor of the Warren County-based Gifted Faithful Ministries, shown here with residents of a boy’s home in India (Photo Credit: Mike Holland)

Heavy Rain Expected Early This Week, No Threat of Winter Weather

-Information courtesy Brian K. Short, Director of Emergency Operations, Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations and the National Weather Service 

The National Weather Service is forecasting a very wet start to the week with upwards of 3 – 4 inches of rain expected in most locations through Tuesday. Urban and small stream flooding is possible. There is a chance for an isolated thunderstorm particularly in the east. Main stem rivers will need to be monitored for potential river flooding later this week.

A second system on Thursday appears to be all liquid at this point despite predicted temperatures very close to freezing in the Triad and VA border counties. Sunny and cool for the weekend. The potential tropical system in the Atlantic poses no threat to central NC at this time.

At this time there is NO threat for impactful winter weather in central NC this week. Triad and VA border counties will have temperatures near freezing for a couple of hours Thursday morning around sunrise. This may possibly be enough to get a pellet or two of sleet on the windshield mixed in with the rain but otherwise should remain all liquid. Even if temperatures do briefly touch 32 degrees, any ice accrual is unlikely because of warm antecedent conditions. Warm ground temperatures and air temperatures prior to the onset of the precipitation would prevent any freezing rain accrual. Temperatures will quickly rise through the 30s after sunrise, further mitigating any chance of winter weather.

Registration Underway for Spring Semester at VGCC

 -Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Registration for classes has begun for the Spring 2019 semester at Vance-Granville Community College, which starts Monday, Jan. 7, 2019.

In addition to the traditional 16-week semester session, VGCC is offering a 12-week term, two 8-week terms and two 4-week terms for the Spring.

“We know that our students have busy lives, going to college, taking care of a family and working, in most cases,” said Jeff Allen, VGCC’s dean of enrollment and outreach. “Vance-Granville wants to meet students where they are and help them get to where they need to be. We recognize that flexibility in scheduling is more important than ever.”

The full 16-week semester, starting on Jan. 7, concludes on May 6. Hundreds of courses are being offered on each of the college’s four campuses in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, and online courses are available, including eight curriculum programs offered totally online.

The four-week “Spring Forward” mini-term begins Dec. 17 with a registration deadline of Dec. 13. Classes for this session will end on Jan. 15. The session is designed for students who are home for the holidays and want to pick up extra classes to help them get ahead in their studies, Allen said. Most of the courses have credits that are transferable to other colleges and universities, but students are always encouraged to check with their advisers to guarantee transferability to other institutions. Course offerings include computers, criminal justice, American history, music appreciation, American government, psychology and sociology, among others.

A second four-week mini-term, labeled “March Forward,” is scheduled for March 5 through April 1, with a registration deadline of March 1. The course list for this mini-term includes management, criminal justice, success and study skills and college transfer success.

The first of two 8-week sessions will begin on Jan. 7 and run through March 5. The second 8-week session starts March 5 and concludes May 6, with a registration deadline of Feb. 28. These two mini-terms offer dozens of courses.

A 12-week mini-term also offering dozens of classes begins Feb. 5 and runs through May 6, the registration deadline coming Jan. 31.

All of the courses offer the full credits a student normally receives. The schedules for the mini-terms are compressed to allow students to complete the coursework in less time.

In addition to the curriculum courses are continuing education opportunities for those wanting job training or new skills or personal enrichment and basic skills for those seeking a high school equivalency or an adult high school diploma.

Registration for the 16-week Spring classes opened Thursday, Nov. 1, and closes on Thursday, Jan. 3. College officials advise students to apply for admission and financial aid, request transcripts from high school or other colleges and schedule a placement test. Students will then meet with an academic coach to register for classes, followed by an orientation session. Students are advised to register for classes as early as possible to secure the classes they need to take.

The upcoming semester’s course schedules and a link to ARCHES, the latest edition of the college’s guide to enrollment, are now available online at schedules.vgcc.edu.

The tuition payment deadline for the 16-week semester is Thursday, Jan. 3, by 5 p.m., if paying in person, or by midnight, if paying online through the college’s online WebAdvisor.

For more information, contact VGCC at [email protected] or (252) 738-3234, or visit any campus.

FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE

Prospective students interested in seeking financial assistance are encouraged to immediately complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov and to visit the VGCC Financial Aid Office.

Eligible students may receive Pell Grants ranging from $343 to $3,047 per semester. Students may also qualify for other college or state funds. The Financial Aid Office recommends completing the FAFSA and all financial aid documents by Wednesday, Dec. 12. In order for a student to charge tuition, fees, and books to financial aid awards, the student’s entire financial aid file must be completed prior to the tuition payment deadline of Thursday, Jan. 3. Students with preschool-age children may receive financial assistance to help pay for child care, and applications for this help are also available at the Financial Aid Office.

Information about other resources is available online at financialaid.vgcc.edu.

For more details regarding financial assistance, visit the Financial Aid Office in Room 8215 on Main Campus or call (252) 738-3280.

HELP FOR VETERANS

Military veterans who wish to use their Veterans’ Education benefits may contact the Financial Aid Office at (252) 738-3522. Veterans should check with Financial Aid to see if the programs in which they are interested are covered.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Youngsville Company Frigi-Temp Donates Equipment To VGCC

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College’s partner in apprenticeship programs, Youngsville-based Frigi-Temp, has donated a large rooftop air conditioning unit to benefit students enrolled in the college’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology curriculum program.

“This industrial size unit will provide our students with hands-on skills training that will prepare them at a new level as they work to become HVAC technicians,” said Michael Whittemore, VGCC’s program head for the applied technology program.

A  commercial HVAC and refrigeration service provider and licensed mechanical contractor serving central North Carolina since 2001, Frigi-Temp (www.frigitemp.com) joined forces with VGCC a year ago on the VGCC “Vanguard Apprenticeship Collaborative,” designed to cultivate highly skilled workers for large and small companies in a number of industries.

Vance-Granville staff and faculty gather with Frigi-Temp representatives to celebrate the donation of a 12.5-ton rooftop commercial air conditioning unit to the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration (ACHR) program at the college. From left are Ken Wilson, TechHire grant project manager; Eddie Ferguson, director of the Endowment Fund; Michael Whittemore, ACHR program head; Angela Gardner-Ragland, dean of Business & Applied Technologies; Dawn Michelle Tucker, dean of Continuing Education & Basic Skills; Kyle Burwell, director of Occupational Extension; Cory Thornton, chief operating officer for Frig-Temp; Tim Gray, president and owner, Frigi-Temp; and Kyle Hooss, organizational development manager for the Youngsville company. (Photo Credit: VGCC)

Cory Thornton, chief operating officer of Frigi-Temp, has demonstrated his company’s interest in Vance-Granville’s curriculum program as well as the apprenticeships for the benefits he sees it provides his business.

The system is a three-phase 12.5-ton Lennox commercial gas package unit with two stages for heating and two stages for cooling. When installed, the equipment would be valued at more than $20,000. The equipment includes an economizer, enthalpy control and a biometric relief damper, Thornton said.

“We wanted this unit to be a very good representation of what one can expect when they walk on a commercial rooftop,” said Thornton.

“Vance-Granville is our local vocational resource,” he added, noting that he has five team members who have attended VGCC in their educational pursuits. “Frigi-Temp, as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration program and as the college’s only commercial apprenticeship partner, would not dream of donating the equipment to any other program.

“This donation will hopefully be the first of many as Frigi-Temp strives to do our part in updating the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) labs at VGCC,” said Thornton.

The equipment, which is the only commercial piece of equipment in VGCC’s lab, will give students an opportunity to experience three-phase compressors and motors, multiple stages of heating and cooling, and belt-driven blower assemblies, Thornton added. “They will have a chance to learn about the difference in maintaining a micro-channel coil and cycling condenser fan motors, among other exciting features,” he said.

Thornton said his company desires to make sure all students, especially their apprentices, have an opportunity to have a diverse list of equipment in the lab. “The more comfortable all the students can become with various types of equipment, how it functions, and how it is maintained the better position they will be in to start their careers with confidence,” Thornton said.

Over the next few years, there is estimated to be a shortage of more than 100,000 HVAC skilled labor workers, he said. “The August jobs report indicated a 3.9% unemployment rate across occupations,” he noted. “The drill down on that report indicated a 2.5% unemployment rate for skilled labor positions. The unemployment rate for skilled commercial HVAC/R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) technicians is something less than 2.5%. Every company out there is going to be competing for the same workers.

“Frigi-Temp also wants to be sure we are making investments in the generation of technicians which will be stepping up to fill the void. Frigi-Temp is making these investments now because we want to be sure that we always have a stream of new talent joining our team ensuring our customers’ needs are always met.”

It’s a matter of economics, the Frigi-Temp leader said: “The demand for HVAC/R equipment is increasing at the same time that the supply of those capable of meeting the demand is decreasing. Basic economics dictate that the price for HVAC/R services must go up. This also means that the wages of those capable of delivering those services will go up.

“This is the best time I have ever seen to get into the industry. There is a massive amount of opportunity for someone to join the trade, become a true professional, and be very successful,” he said.

Dr. Gordon Burns, Vance-Granville interim president, praised Frigi-Temp for its support of the college’s students. “This industry represents the partnerships critically needed with area industry and businesses to help our students gain valuable knowledge and the skills training to be job ready. As Frigi-Temp demonstrates so well, their donation of this equipment and their support of our apprenticeship program will not only help them find the technicians they need but also will guarantee to our students that they can meet the demands of industry. It’s truly a win-win for all.”

Students interested in enrolling in the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program can contact program head Michael Whittemore at [email protected] or (252) 738-3214. Employers interested in partnering with VGCC on apprenticeships are encouraged to contact Ken Wilson, project manager for VGCC’s TechHire grant program, at [email protected] or (252) 738-3259 for more information.

VGCC, Southeastern Open New Pathway For Students

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College and The College at Southeastern have entered a partnership to provide a “ready-made pathway” for students to be dually enrolled on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In VGCC’s Civic Center, colorfully decorated with banners displaying the various applied technology, business and health sciences academic programs offered by Vance-Granville, a ceremony was held on Monday, Oct. 22, for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two colleges.

“Partnership is very important as you think about higher education today,” said Dr. Levy Brown, Vance-Granville’s vice president of academic affairs. “We hear about pathways. We hear about multiple entry points for students. We hear about collaboration. Today we are very excited to join Southeastern in this opportunity to provide more training opportunities for their students.”

Dr. James Dew of The College at Southeastern, left, and Dr. Levy Brown of Vance-Granville Community College sign a memorandum of understanding officially launching a partnership that provides a “ready-made pathway” for students to be dually enrolled at the two colleges on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. (Photo: VGCC)

The partnership opens a new door for students at The College at Southeastern ([email protected]) in Wake Forest to earn additional credentials in the career and technical education areas, nearly 40 curriculum programs, at Vance-Granville, Dr. Brown noted, citing the significance of the regional collaboration.

With plans for the partnership in the works for several years, Dr. James Dew, Vice President of Undergraduate Studies and Distance Learning and the Dean of The College at Southeastern, said he was pleased to see two institutions working together rather than being competitive in their recruiting efforts. Students have had to choose between schools when pursuing their college educations, he said, “either here or there but not both.”

“We can do far more together than we can do apart from each other,” he said. “I think the days are gone, or should be gone, when we compete against each other in unnecessary ways.”

“As we sat down to think about the possibilities,” Dr. Dew added, “what we began to realize is that there are actually ways that we can serve each other. You have students in your vocational programs who ultimately desire to do something for the Lord. And we have students who very much want to do something for the Lord but are going to need along the way various kinds of vocational training to get there.”

At [email protected], he said, they refer to the situation as the “Tentmaker’s Paradigm.” Citing Acts 18:1-4, he described how the Apostle Paul had a vocation of making tents. “He would go from place to place, and as he went he would build tents and that would give him a platform to preach the Gospel to the nations,” Dr. Dew said.

“That ultimately is our vision,” he added. “We are training a generation of people at Southeastern to go into the darkest places in the entire world, places where there is no hope, places where the darkness is thick and depression is strong. And there in those places shine their light of Jesus Christ to those places and to those nations. But to get there … they are going to need the kinds of programs that we see represented here in this room.”

He said [email protected] wants their students to have these kinds of programs that VGCC offers, but “I also understand that they need the kinds of theological and ministerial training that we can offer them at Southeastern as well.”

[email protected] began in 1994 as an undergraduate school of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in Wake Forest. Students who are pursuing their Bachelor of Science degree from SEBTS have had the option to transfer in an associate’s degree from another college, dually enroll in a vocational program at another college or complete a business minor at [email protected]

The partnership will provide a clear pathway, the college officials noted.

Among the highlights of the partnership:

  • [email protected] students may enroll in as many as 12 credit hours per semester at VGCC and have those hours count towards their status at [email protected]
  • Southeastern students who complete an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate of study in a VGCC-approved vocational and/or applied technical program will receive full credit for courses taken in which a grade of “C” or better was earned.
  • [email protected] will also accept credits from high school and early college high school students enrolled in an approved Career and College Promise (CCP) track through VGCC.
  • VGCC will allow students to dual enroll in a Bachelor of Science degree program at [email protected]

The partnership also allows for a seamless integration of recruitment initiatives between both colleges.

Dr. Dew recognized Cory Thornton of the Youngsville-based Frigi-Temp commercial heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration service provider for being a part of a three-way meeting with VGCC and [email protected] last year that eventually led to the partnership. Thornton is the chief operating officer of the licensed mechanical contracting company which is now a partner in VGCC’s Vanguard Apprenticeship Collaboration.

Dr. Dew added, “We began to think together about what your curriculum looks like, what ours looks like and the various ways that we can partner broadly by taking the diplomas, the certificates and the associate’s degrees offered here in vocational trainings at Vance-Granville and let the students either come to Southeastern after they finish here by way of transfer or to work on those degree programs concurrently.”

“It is a unique day in the life of Southeastern when I can begin saying to our students, ‘Hey, you should also go to this school,’” he said. “Praise God for good things that He has brought. I’m excited for this day.”

VGCC’s Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns applauded the “efforts, insights and wisdom” of Dr. Brown and Dr. Dew “and all of those colleagues who supported them in our two institutions.”

“Thank you for making this day possible,” he added. “I think it’s especially important that we allow the doors to be open for further higher education. By accepting our credits at your college, you open the door to new opportunities to advance study, and for that, we are most grateful,” Dr. Burns said.

Also instrumental in the creation of the partnership is VGCC’s project manager for the TechHire grant, Ken Wilson, who also spoke to the staff and faculty from both institutions who gathered for the signing. “We look forward to wonderful times ahead for this great partnership,” Wilson said.

Questions about the partnership can be directed to Ken Wilson at VGCC by phone at (252) 738-3259 or by e-mail at [email protected] or Dr. Brent Aucoin at The College at Southeastern by phone at (919) 761-2286 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Click here for a Flickr album with photographs from the signing ceremony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancegranvillecc/albums/72157703270339775

Warren Co. High School to Host Curriculum Night – Thurs., Nov. 15

-Information courtesy Tannis Jenkins, Warren County High School

Warren County High School will host a curriculum night on Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity win door prizes and a turkey give away.

If you have any questions, please contact Tannis Jenkins at 252-257-4413 or email [email protected]

Small Business Summit Promotes Importance Of Online First Impression

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dozens of area entrepreneurs, small business owners, and business and non-profit leaders discovered the importance of having a powerful digital presence to create a positive first impression online at the seventh annual Small Business Summit.

Martin Brossman, a leading social media authority and business consultant, delivered the keynote address at the summit organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center on Monday, Oct. 15. Under the theme of “Recipe for Success: Making Your Dream a Reality,” the summit was held in the Warren County Armory & Convention Center in Warrenton.

Social media authority Martin Brossman delivers the keynote address at the summit organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center in October in the Warren County Armory & Convention Center in Warrenton. He told those in attendance that digital first impressions will lead to more sales and referrals for a business. (Photo: VGCC)

“Your future customers want to know more about you than just what is on your website, and they may trust you less if they don’t,” said Brossman. “We all are looking for secondary validation for everything from credible information for a product, business, person or service. This session is going to show you the free and low-cost ways to make the best digital — web-based — first impression that will lead to more sales and more referrals for your business.”

“As more professionals and businesses go online to promote their brands and expand their markets, they are looking for ways to become more effective,” Brossman said. The keynote address was designed not only for small business owners but also professionals of all types, he said. “They need to understand the value of a positive online reputation as well as the cost of having none at all,” he added.

Brossman was joined on the program by Kristen Baughman of Warrenton, the founder of the Tabletop Media Group in Raleigh, who presented “Top 10 Tips: How to Work with Media,” and a panel of four local and regional leaders who answered questions from the audience on the topics of planning and zoning, insurance, accounting and legal services in a discussion titled “Stock Your Pantry with the Right Business Resources.” On the panel were Ken Krulich of Warren County Planning & Zoning, Jennifer Burton with O.L. Meek Insurance in Warrenton, Certified Public Accountant Susan Bersch of Littleton, and Volunteer Attorney Kate McCullough with the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NCLEAP) of the North Carolina State Bar. The discussion was moderated by Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center.

Duke Energy was the presenting sponsor for the summit. Local partners working with the VGCC Small Business Center to organize the event were the Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. In-kind sponsors of the summit were the Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer of Littleton, The Daily Dispatch of Henderson, The Warren Record of Warrenton, WARR 1520 AM of Warrenton, and WIZS 1450 AM/100.1 FM of Henderson. Centerpiece arrangements were provided by Lola G of Oxford.

From left: Volunteer Attorney Kate McCullough with the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NCLEAP) of the North Carolina State Bar, Ken Krulich of Warren County Planning & Zoning, Jennifer Burton with O.L. Meek Insurance in Warrenton, and Certified Public Accountant Susan Bersch of Littleton. (Photo: VGCC)

Brossman was described by Weary as a dynamic trainer known for his insight and humor. As a member of the National Speakers Association, he is a popular speaker on many professional development and business topics, including Online Reputations: Reputation Enhancement, Monitoring, and Management; Transforming Conflict Into Enhanced Relationships in Business; Creating Raving Fans and Repeat Business; Customer Service in a Customer Empowered World; Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking; Communication That Gets More Results; Beyond Ordinary Networking; Being Effective as an Entrepreneur and Business Owner; Referral Marketing; Dragonfly Thinking Training: How to Integrate Effective Problem Solving Into Your Work to Get Superior Results (taught with Dr. Bruce Oberhardt); and LinkedIn for Professionals.

Brossman teaches across North Carolina, including a certification program through N.C. State University’s Technology Training Solutions. He is a leading authority on LinkedIn, Reputation Management, and building a positive digital presence. He has co-hosted a leading podcast on Social Selling for since 2009, “Linking Into Sales.”

A Flickr album of photographs from the Business Summit is available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancegranvillecc/albums/72157701580003271.

VGCC Honors 2018-2019 Faculty And Staff Members Of Year With Awards

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

An instructor who also is leading one of VGCC’s curriculum programs and a director of a jobs skills training program for the unemployed and underemployed have been honored as outstanding employees for 2018-2019 at Vance-Granville Community College.

Stewart Lyon, a Biology instructor at VGCC and the point of contact for the Bioprocess Technology curriculum program at the Franklin County Campus, was named Faculty Member of the Year at the college, and Blondelle Edgerton, director of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, was selected as the Staff Member of the Year.

Above: VGCC’s 2018-19 award winners are Faculty Member of the Year Stewart Lyon, left, and Staff Member of the Year Blondelle Edgerton, right. Dr. Gordon Burns, VGCC’s Interim President, center, has praised both employees for their commitment to Vance-Granville’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting students. (VGCC photo)

The honors are two of VGCC’s three Glen Raven Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Awards for 2018-2019. Glen Raven, Inc., the custom fabrics manufacturer with a facility in Warren County, is a longtime partner and supporter of the college. In addition to sponsoring the annual stipends to recognize excellence among VGCC instructors and staff members, Glen Raven has endowed several scholarships for students.

Lyon and Edgerton are now eligible to be considered for the N.C. Community College System’s statewide R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching and BB&T Staff Person of the Year awards, respectively.

“Stewart and Blondelle are two outstanding leaders among the faculty and staff at our college,” Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns said. “Every day, they are dedicated to our college’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting a diverse community of learners to achieve professional and personal success. Their extraordinary commitment, positivity and expertise are appreciated by both students and colleagues.”

Stewart Lyon

Stewart Lyon joined the VGCC faculty in August 2013 as an adjunct instructor for Biology at VGCC’s South Campus in Creedmoor. In January 2014, he came on board as a full-time Biology instructor, teaching classes at all four of VGCC’s campuses — South, Franklin, Warren and Main. In the Fall Semester of 2017, he became the point of contact for the Bioprocess Technology program based at Franklin Campus.

A 2007 graduate of North Carolina State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, Lyon earned his Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from East Carolina University in 2010. He has a graduate certificate in Business Foundations from ECU, in 2014, and is currently is working in non-degree graduate studies in Chemistry with Montana State University.

“Stewart has a unique approach to teaching cultivated to help students understand why they are learning the course material by connecting the content to aspects of their own lives,” said VGCC’s Interim President Dr. Gordon Burns. “He grabs their attention and the students are more likely to be motivated, resulting in a more successful learning environment. He has built rapport with his students and demonstrated a sincere desire to help them learn.”

Lyon has recently carved out some time from his Biology teaching and leadership of the Bioprocess Technology program to represent VGCC’s faculty on the Achieving the Dream Core Team as the college works to implement, align and scale cutting edge reforms to improve student success, Dr. Burns added.

Among his activities at the college and in the community, Lyon has participated in the Leadership Program of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. He has volunteered for area public high school science fairs. He also was an event leader for the Science Olympiad, taught classes for VGCC’s Summer Science Camp for middle school children, and coordinated VGCC Earth Day celebrations at Main Campus and Franklin Campus.

“Stewart displays very high levels of professionalism and he intentionally engages students, colleagues and the general public with enthusiasm, positivity, and reminders that we are all making a difference in students’ lives,” said Cecilia Wheeler, VGCC’s Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Blondelle Edgerton

Blondelle Edgerton came to Vance-Granville in September 1995 as a part-time education specialist for what was the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program, later renamed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program. She became full-time in 1999, and in August 2004, she became a program analyst and job developer for WIA. Less than two years later she became the supervisor for the program while still serving as job developer. She was elevated to director of the program, her current position, in February 2013. The program in recent years was renamed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at East Carolina University in 1994. Since then she has had professional training in nearly two dozen areas related to her role in WIOA. She is a member of the North Carolina Employment Training Association (NCETA), and she volunteers on the Community Advisory Committee of the Franklin-Granville-Vance Partnership for Children.

“Blondelle is deeply committed to the mission of our college and the North Carolina Community College System to open the doors to educational opportunities for the people of the communities served by Vance-Granville,” said Dr. Burns. “Through her position with the WIOA, she works with the unemployed, underemployed, economic disadvantaged and those who need to upgrade their job skills. She makes sure eligible students get help with tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, counseling, work experience and job placement.

“Clearly the right person for this critical job, Blondelle has a heart for her students and understands well the obstacles they face as she helps them ascertain their goals and aspirations,” Dr. Burns said.

Edgerton has built partnerships for work experiences with businesses and organizations in the community, and she has structured her program at VGCC in such a way that it is a model for the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments and the Workforce Development Board, the administrators of the federal funding for the program.

“Blondelle unselfishly assists students and staff far above her normal job responsibilities,” Kali Brown, VGCC’s Dean of Student Support Services, added. “She has assisted other employees with reporting requirements, served as a chaperone at the annual Youth Summit, and even watered plants in our administration building. She is an employee that every supervisor dreams of having.”

Kerr-Tar to Hold Public Open House for Division Needs Transportation Projects

-Information courtesy Stephanie A. Harmon, Regional Planner, Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments

The public is invited to an open house on Thursday, November 15, to express their opinions on the Division Needs transportation projects in Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, and Warren Counties being considered for inclusion in the NCDOT 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The STIP is a 10-year plan that identifies funding for projects throughout North Carolina and schedules them for construction.

The Kerr-Tar Regional Transportation Planning Organization (KTRPO) will hold an informal open house on Thursday, November 15 at the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ office, 1724 Graham Avenue, Henderson, NC from 5 to 7 p.m. Residents will be able to view all potential projects and provide feedback. KTRPO staff will be present to answer any questions and address any concerns.

For those unable to attend the open house, the projects are available for review on the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ website: http://www.kerrtarcog.org/. Comments may be submitted via email to [email protected]arcog.org. Please include P5 Division Needs Projects Comments in the subject line.

For more information, please contact (252) 436-2040, [email protected]

NC Navigators to Help North Carolinians Enroll in Health Insurance Plans

-Press Release, Legal Aid of NC, NC Navigator Consortium 

NC navigators are here to help North Carolinians enroll in affordable, comprehensive health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov during the Affordable Care Act’s sixth open-enrollment period, which starts today and runs through Dec. 15, 2018.

Throughout open enrollment, North Carolina consumers can call 1-855-733-3711 (toll-free) or visit ncnavigator.net to schedule a free, confidential, in-person appointment with a certified NC navigator in their area.

NC navigators are trained to help consumers enroll in coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, the online storefront that consumers can visit to browse and enroll in affordable, comprehensive health insurance plans.

NC navigators can help consumers understand the details of the plans available on HealthCare.gov, complete the enrollment process and determine their eligibility for financial assistance. Last year, nine in 10 North Carolinians who enrolled in coverage on HealthCare.gov received financial assistance.

During this open enrollment period, NC navigators will help consumers understand the differences between the comprehensive plans available on HealthCare.gov and the new alternative plans, known as short-term, limited-duration (STLD) insurance, or association plans, which provide less coverage and patient protections than HealthCare.gov plans.

Every insurance plan available on HealthCare.gov provides comprehensive, year-round coverage that includes essential benefits like prescription drugs, hospital visits, mental health care, maternity care, doctor visits and more. HealthCare.gov plans also include important patient protections, including one that prohibits insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. HealthCare.gov plans automatically renew every year, so consumers do not experience gaps in coverage.

The alternative plans, which are not available on HealthCare.gov, do not necessarily provide year-round coverage; do not have to cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs, hospital visits, mental health care, maternity care and doctor visits; allow insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions; and do not automatically renew, which could leave consumers with gaps in coverage.

HealthCare.gov is the only place to get quality, affordable health insurance that covers everything you need,” Mark Van Arnam, co-director of the NC Navigator Consortium, said. “Navigators are here to help North Carolinians understand all their options and find the plan that best meets their needs and fits their budget.”

“We want consumers to know that financial assistance is still available,” Eunice Lee-Ahn, co-director of the Consortium, said. “Most North Carolinians enrolled in a HealthCare.gov plan get financial help that lowers their monthly cost to about the same as a cell phone. Navigators can help consumers determine if they are eligible for financial assistance and sign up for it as part of the enrollment process.”

North Carolinians who are already enrolled in a HealthCare.gov plan will automatically get re-enrolled in 2019 coverage, but navigators are urging consumers to check back in to see if a more suitable plan is available. Rates have dropped in some areas, so consumers might be able to find a plan that offers equivalent or better coverage for cheaper.

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