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PCC Notes: Grad receives tool set through Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Program

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PCC graduate Melvin Reddick (center) received a Westward toolkit last month as part of the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship he was awarded in 2016. On hand for the presentation were, left to right: PCC Construction and Industrial Technology Dean Mark Faithful, Grainger Branch Network Manager Kenneth Johnson, PCC Industrial Systems Technology Curriculum Coordinator Tony Gallardo and Grainger Public Sector Account Manager Tracy Brunk.


By PCC News Service

Sunday, September 3, 2017

WINTERVILLE — Representatives from Grainger presented a set of professional tools to Pitt Community College graduate Melvin Reddick last month as part of their company’s Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship Program.

Last summer, Reddick was one of two PCC students selected to receive a $2,000-scholarship from Grainger to help pay for tuition and books. The Westward toolkit he received Aug. 24 was the culmination of that award.

“Grainger is passionate about creating positive change and building a strong workforce in the communities where we live and work,” said Grainger Public Sector Account Manager Tracy Brunk. “Through the Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship Program and our relationship with Pitt Community College, we are proud to do our part in helping qualified technical education and public safety students, like Melvin, graduate and start successful careers.”

A Zebulon resident, Reddick decided to pursue higher education at age 46. He excelled in his PCC studies, recording a 3.71 cumulative GPA to earn Dean’s List honors in addition to an Academic Excellence Award in 2016 and several scholarships.

Looking back, Reddick says making the decision to return to college was “the easy part” for him while the hard part was determining what to study. He said he ultimately discovered Industrial Systems to be his true calling while taking “Mechanisms 130” as an Electrical Systems Technology student.

“When I took that mechanisms class, I worked on cams, cables, gear trains, differentials, screws, belts, pulleys, shafts, levers, lubricants and other devices,” he said. “I enjoyed that class so much that I decided to sign up for the Industrial Systems Technology (program) and get my AAS degree in that.”

Reddick completed an associate degree in Electrical Systems in August 2016 and another in Industrial Systems four months later. He has also earned several certificates and diplomas from those programs and is currently pursuing an associate degree in Industrial Management Technology at Pitt.

Reddick was one of 149 scholarship recipients from 81 community colleges participating in Grainger’s Tools for Tomorrow program in 2017.

Each year, Grainger works with the American Association of Community Colleges to offer a pair of $2,000-scholarships to students at each participating community college in the United States. The scholarships help offset the cost of higher education for students working toward associate degrees or certificates in skilled trade, supply chain management and public safety programs. In addition to the scholarship, Grainger provides students with tools after they graduate to help them launch a successful career.

Since 2006, Grainger has donated more than $4 million to support technical education. Half of the scholarships offered are earmarked for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

To learn more about the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship Program, visit www.graingerskilledtrades.com.

Youngsters receive haircuts and school supplies through service projects

A pair of PCC community service projects last month were successful in providing school supplies and haircuts to local children in need, just days before the start of a new academic year in Pitt County.

Jasmin Spain, PCC Assistant Vice President of Student Development and Community Standards, said last week that the “Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway 2017” drive organized by the college’s Next Level Minority Male Success Initiative resulted in “haircuts and backpacks filled with supplies for more than 150 children.” The items, he said, were distributed Aug. 23 at Greenville’s DEFINE Barbershop, which helped sponsor the event along with The M.A.I.N. Initiative, LLC, and MasterMinds At Work, Inc.

“What a way to kick off the academic year,” Spain said, adding that the drive was just as successful in showing “youth in our community that we value them and stand by our word to ‘empower people for success.’”

Across town, students in PCC’s Barber School at Altitude Academy provided free haircuts and school supplies to children in grades K-12 as part of their program’s annual “50 Free” event on Aug. 24.

The goal, according to Instructor Rodney Bullock, was to provide at least 50 free haircuts. Mission accomplished, he said, noting that he and his 30 students ended up providing more than 80 haircuts during the event, along with food donations and school supplies.

According to Bullock, “50 Free” began on the heels of a national campaign against bullying. He and his students have carried on the tradition the week prior to each new school year ever since.

PCC Continuing Education dean elected to NAWDP Board of Directors

The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) recently announced that PCC Dean of Continuing Education & Community Development Kristin S. Braswell has been elected to its board of directors.

In her role with the college, Braswell oversees a division that offers a wide variety of educational options – from customized business and industry training and small business assistance to emergency services instruction and personal enrichment courses. As a member of the NAWDP board, she will represent the State of North Carolina for a two-year term.

As the nation strives to improve economically through reduced unemployment and overcoming budget challenges, workforce development plays a significant role. For its part, NAWDP seeks to identify, implement and promote policies, programs and education that will improve the effectiveness of the nation’s workforce development system.

Based in Washington, D.C., NAWDP has more than 3,500 members nationwide. They represent workforce investment boards, job centers, community colleges, military bases, youth employment programs, corporations, and faith and community-based organizations.

A Clayton native, Braswell brings to the board a strong background in working with diverse populations, along with a commitment to improving the skills of the nation’s workforce.

“I am a true believer in education; a person is never too old to learn,” said Braswell, who earned a doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education and Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2016.

Braswell was hired to oversee PCC’s continuing education programming in 2014. Prior to that, she spent 10 years with Fayetteville Technical Community College, where she worked as a part-time Basic Skills instructor and full-time Basic Skills counselor before being named director of College and Career Readiness/Human Resources Development. Her professional background also includes a year as a teacher and counselor with Cumberland County Schools.