TCCC Promotes Entrepreneurship

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TCCC President, Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, signs NACCE Entrepreneurship Pledge.

The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the Nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that President Donna Tipton-Rogers, of Tri-County Community College, has taken its Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge. Through the pledge, presidents of community colleges throughout the country pledge to take five action steps that will increase their focus on entrepreneurship and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve. Officials from 12 other North Carolina community colleges have also taken the NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.

With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, more than 200 community colleges throughout the country have joined the entrepreneurship forum, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.

“During its 50-year history, Tri-County Community College has been committed to the training and equipping of citizens in western North Carolina for obtaining jobs,” said Tipton-Rogers. “Without doubt, entrepreneurship is not only a viable path toward employment, but we have also found such an approach comfortably conforms to the style and independent mindset of our region.”

The North Carolina community college presidents who have joined the forum are: Garret Hinshaw, Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory; Tony Zeiss, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte; Steve Thornburg, Cleveland Community College, Shelby; Rose Johnson, Haywood Community College, Clyde; Walter Bartlett, Piedmont Community College, Roxboro; Dale McInnis, Richmond Community College, Hamlet; Pamela Hilbert, Robeson Community College, Lumberton; Stephen Scott, Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh; Hank Dunn, AB Tech, Ashville; J. Keen, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville; Walter Dalton, Isothermal Community College, Columbus; and Susanne Adams, Brunswick Community College, Bolivia.

The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the Country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.

According to NACCE President and CEO Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. Community college presidents who take the pledge commit to these five action steps:

  • Develop transparency of community college and community assets
  • Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
  • Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
  • Engage in industry cluster development
  • Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship

“The five action steps were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Van Sickle. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. “One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”

The NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs, focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. NACCE has two main goals: 1. Empower the college to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset, and 2. Grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.

Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the “entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, regional summits, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars, a dynamic list-serv, and training resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These initiatives and resulting actions advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit