This is the first column of many to come written by Dr. Bradley J. Ebersole, who was inaugurated on Nov. 4 as the sixth president of Washington State Community College. Since he assumed this role at the college in September, Dr. Ebersole has focused efforts on learning about the impact of the college on Marietta, Washington and Morgan counties and the entire Mid-Ohio Valley. His goal is to move the college into a new era of growth while always keeping transparent communication a priority.
Washington State Community College, that marvelous college on Colegate Drive, is an institution that makes it possible for every adult in the region to improve their lives through education. People enroll intending to transfer to a four year college or university, they come to complete an associate's degree and start a career, while others study for a certificate intending to upgrade their skills and improve their employability and value in the job market.
But make no mistake, WSCC means business. As I interviewed for the role of president, and since my first day on the job, I have repeatedly said that this college in here to serve the entire business community as our programs are designed to produce a work force that meets the needs of business. Whether it is in the agricultural industry, a major manufacturer, mid-sized producer of goods, or small business, WSCC is providing this region with well-educated and well-trained workers.
I have found that the staff of WSCC has long been working closely with business to identify their specific workforce needs, and have developed short term and long term educational and training programs that meet those needs.
Take for example when Workforce Development Director Laurene Huffman worked with Globe Metallurgical to develop a program for improved hiring and personnel assessment practices, and with Orion Engineered Carbons in the development of a proprietary Carbon Black course for their entire U.S. operations. Also, Dean for Business and Technology, Brenda Kornmiller, and many of the faculty, is working closely with area oil and gas companies to be certain the technician level skills, so badly needed by these enterprises, are being provided to an already existing workforce as well as for a workforce expected in the future. The list of programs and services goes on.
We are all about economic development. If a company is considering the possibility of locating in this area, WSCC stands ready to quickly develop the educated and trained workers needed for start up. This education combined with the strong work ethic in this community should certainly help convince an employer that this is the place to invest.
In my career I have served many years in the role of developing community college workforce programs, and I have worked closely with business and industry. In my short time at WSCC I can see that this college fully understands its role in regional economic development and serving companies. This staff is knowledgeable, responsive, and ready to develop needed training programs.
I have found that WSCC means business!
Bradley Ebersole is president of Washington State Community College.