Economic growth

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College prepares for economic growth in surrounding counties

Tri-County Community College

Following the recent announcements of various company expansions and developments in Cherokee and Clay counties, Tri-County Community College is preparing for the new growth by establishing partnerships, developing new curriculum programs, and working closely with Economic and Workforce Development staff, college officials said.

“We are thrilled to be part of the economic growth in our service area,” said Tri-County Community College President Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers. “This has been a fantastic opportunity to build new partnerships and continue providing the educational resources needed to equip employees with all the skills and knowledge to succeed.”

The college’s Economic and Workforce Development Director Paul Worley said his team has several exciting proposals in development, including the recent expansion announced by Advanced Digital Cable, Inc. in Hayesville.

“Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, Advanced Digital Cable will be able to create 15 new jobs and expand its existing facility,” Worley said.

In addition to the development in Clay County, there is also the recent acquisition of Coats American by Black Star Investments LLC, with plans to install a computer data center in Cherokee County. This new facility is in addition to the Eastern Band of Cherokee’s in-development data center.

“As our service area’s economy continues to grow, so do we,” Tipton-Rogers said. “Our faculty and staff are constantly seeking out innovative new programs to benefit the local workforce.”

Earlier this fall, Tri-County Community College received funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Emerging Opportunities Grant, which enabled the college to expand its Information Technology program to include a new Data Center Technology certificate, beginning in fall of 2018, Tipton-Rogers said.

“This new addition to our curriculum could not be more timely,” Tipton-Rogers said. “Data center technology is a rapidly-developing field and we are excited to provide the training to enable our students to find employment and success in our communities.”

Though the new data training classes aren’t scheduled to begin until next August, students can still start taking classes in preparation of entering the new program with the spring 2018 semester, Tipton-Rogers said.

Classes for the spring semester begin on Jan. 8, with registration taking place Jan. 3 – 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.

For more information about Tri-County Community College, call 837-6810 or visit