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Workforce, educational needs explored at State of the County at RCC

Photo of a man speaking.
Randolph Community College President/CEO Dr. Shah Ardalan addresses the attendees at the State of the County on Monday, Nov. 27, in the JB and Claire Davis Corporate Training Center on the Asheboro Campus.

Leaders of the Randolph County community gathered in Randolph Community College’s Corporate Training Center on Monday, Nov. 27, for the “State of the County” — a discussion of the current and future workforce needs and the educational pipeline of Randolph County.


Kevin Franklin, President of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, emphasizes the influx of thousands of jobs to the county and the need to prepare.

“Building on RCC’s 60-year legacy in this community, we are launching RCC 2.0, focusing on Relevance, Careers, and Commitment,” RCC President/CEO Dr. Shah Ardalan said. “As the landscape of Randolph County undergoes transformation, RCC 2.0 will position us to better serve the current and future needs of the students, industry, and the entire community. As an engine of economic mobility, we are more than ever committed to preparing students for relevant careers.

“In tandem, we shall reaffirm our commitment to various stakeholders — from industry partners and educational collaborators to the residents of Randolph County. The impending growth within the county is not merely an external force but a collaborative endeavor, and our institution stands as a central catalyst in this collective enterprise.”

RCC Dean of Curriculum Programs Melinda Eudy opened the meeting with an overview of the Perkins V — The Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act, which allows school districts to use federal funds to provide students career exploration and development activities in the middle school and for comprehensive guidance and academic counseling in the upper grades.

Kevin Franklin, President of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, emphasized the influx of close to 50,000 jobs coming to the county with recent industry commitments such as Toyota, Wolfspeed, and VinFast in Randolph and the surrounding counties. He also highlighted the high demand for healthcare jobs in the community.

“We must make sure that we are getting people in our community prepared to fill those positions,” he said. “There are lots of opportunities for people living in our community to either be working in our community or driving to great career opportunities and bringing those earnings back to invest and spend in our community. Regardless of the sector, whether it be manufacturing or retail, it is essential to speak with human resources professionals to assess the level of preparedness exhibited by interviewees. This includes appropriate attire, not bringing children to the interview, adherence to professional conduct, and a resumé. This is a community-wide effort, and we need to keep emphasizing employability skills.”


Chairman of the Randolph County Commissioners Darrell Frye discusses the county’s focus on infrastructure for its residents.

Chairman of the Randolph County Commissioners Darrell Frye followed Franklin and praised Randolph County community members for their commitment and cooperation. Frye also mentioned two more county projects — the Randolph County Farm, Food and Family Education Center and the Randleman business park.

“Our role as a county government is to make sure that we have the resources available to make these things happen,” he said. “In some other counties, I’ve seen county government, school boards, the public, and the community colleges become enemies. This hasn’t happened in Randolph County. We work together. We are working with our General Assembly which brought approximately $85 million in funding that has been earmarked for things such as water and sewer infrastructure for eastern Randolph County. Our commitment is to the well-being of the people who come here to work, to live, to raise their children, and to educate their children.”

Rhonda Workman, Vice President of Finance and Operations of the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber, and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council’s Will Early, Workforce Business Services Lead, and Michelle Slaton, Economic Development and Business Services Supervisor, then spoke.

Asheboro City Schools (ACS) Director of CTE Sarah Beth Robbins and Randolph County School Systems (RCSS) CTE Director David Cross showed the attendees what their respective systems are doing to promote CTE and what their goals are for the future.

Dr. Isaí Robledo, RCC’s Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, presented the opportunities for high school students, including Career and College Promise where students can go to college while in high school tuition-free and Randolph Early College High School on RCC’s campus that students can attend while earning an associate degree. RCC Director of Apprenticeships and Pathways Stacey Miller then talked about local apprenticeship opportunities including Apprenticeship Randolph where students attend RCC for free while earning a wage and on-the-job-training, and college transfer and the new Industrial Maintenance Technician adult apprenticeship that means on-the-job training while earning an associate degree for participants.

Eudy and Robledo discussed the short-term and long-term training RCC provides along with the current data for for-credit CTE programs and non-credit CTE programs at the College.

Attendees then broke into small groups for discussions, and RCC Vice President for Instructional Services Suzanne Rohrbaugh closed the event.


RCC Board of Trustees Chair Reynolds Lisk Jr. listens to the group discussion during the meeting.

RCC Board of Trustees Chair Reynolds Lisk Jr. was inspired by how working together, different entities in the county are making life better for its citizens.

“People in Randolph County are living in an exciting time right now,” he said. “The presentations given by Randolph County Economic Development, Asheboro City Schools, Apprenticeship Randolph, Randolph County Schools, the Asheboro-Randolph Chamber, Randolph Community College, and other county partners were excellent. The collaboration between the school systems, business, industry, and Randolph Community College has never been at a higher level. This teamwork is creating job and career opportunities for young and old alike that will improve the quality of life in our county and communities.”

Randolph Community College (RCC), under the leadership of President/CEO Shah Ardalan, is committed to providing relevant career training and educational opportunities. Affordable degrees and short-term certificate programs start throughout the year, both in person and online. For more information, call 336-633-0200 or visit and expect to engage with the most competent and compassionate team of faculty and staff.

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