Thursday, June 25, 2009

Virginia business coalition says investing in higher education is the surest path to future prosperity

The Grow By Degrees coalition says sustained funding of higher education is critical to the state's economic well being ...


A coalition of Virginia business leaders says the way to kick start the state's economy and insure future prosperity is to mandate proper funding for higher education in spite of the current economic doldrums.

The goal of a campaign launched this week by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council is to promote economic growth through high-impact investment and innovation in Virginia’s colleges, universities, and community colleges.

Grow By Degrees advocates a sustained, long-term program of higher education investment and reform, embodied in state law, to ensure affordable access for Virginia students and to generate strong economic activity and growth revenues for the Commonwealth.

Prominent business leaders in the Grow By Degrees coalition include Medical Facilities of America CEO W. Heywood Fralin; Dominion Resources President Thomas F. Farrell II; and Landmark Communications former President John O. “Dubby” Wynne.

“It is a startling reality that 75 percent of voters we polled in Virginia say a college degree is needed to succeed in today’s economy, but only 35 percent of college-age Virginians enroll in college and only 42 percent of Virginians have college degrees,” said VBHEC Chairman Heywood Fralin. “There is a broad gap between Virginians’ expectations and reality, and to turn those numbers around we need to take action now.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Germanna's Tech Prep Camp opens eighth-grade eyes to career possibilities

Germanna's Russell James, above, says the week-long camp shows 13-year-olds first-hand what careers are really like ...
In an interview with Charlottesville's Channel 29, Russell James, director of Germanna's Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper, said of the college's Tech Prep Camp for eighth-graders: "The point of this whole week is to expose them to all these various trades that they can go into that can start as a basic laborer and then go up to owning a business or being an engineer."

Watch the Channel 29 report - Special Coverage&d1=114667&LaunchPageAdTag=News - Special Coverage&activePane=info&rnd=295.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Germanna veterans honored at Flag Day celebration at Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania

Ken Creasy, captain of the Spotsylvania American Legion Post 320 color guard, plays the bugle at Monday's Flag Day ceremony at Germanna.

During a Flag Day ceremony and tree planting Monday at the Fredericksburg Campus to recognize the service and sacrifice of Germanna Community College veterans and there families, Germanna Veterans' Association adviser Joan Fischer, a veteran herself, spoke of the service of her grandfather and father in World War I, World War II and Korea.

She said that throughout her life, the flag has always held a special place in her heart because of that service, even during times of political turmoil.

"The flag has come to mean many things to many people," Fischer said. For some it is a symbol of freedom and honor. For others, it is a symbol to be torn, burned or spat on. It's worn on uniforms and has patched holes in jeans."

But for Fischer, the memory associated with the flag will always be the image of her father, years after retirement from the military, "removing his hat, hand over heart and standing for the flag. He did not consider it a bother, but rather a duty and an honor."

Germanna vets to be honored at Flag Day celebration today at Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania

Flag Day ceremony will be held today at 4 at GCC's Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania ...

There will be a Flag Day ceremony and tree planting today in Fredericksburg to recognize the service and sacrifice of Germanna Community College veterans and there families.

The ceremony, hosted by the Germanna Veterans' Association, will take place at 4 p.m. behind the V. Earl Dickinson Building on GCC's Frederickburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania.

Germanna President David A. Sam will speak and light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Germanna to offer classes at new Stafford Center at Aquia Park this fall

Germanna opens a center in North Stafford on Aug. 20. Above, a student in an art class at GCC's Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania works on a piece ...


The Free Lance-Star

Germanna Community College will begin offering classes in North Stafford in the upcoming fall semester.

The school is finalizing its lease for 5,000 square feet of space within a mixed-use development known as Aquia Park, Vice President Rick Brehm told the college's board Thursday.

Classes are to begin at Aquia Park on Aug. 20.

"We are excited to be opening our first Germanna Center in Stafford County, and see it as a first step to better meeting the needs of students and businesses in the Stafford community," President David Sam said.

"It is difficult to begin a new venture in a time of budget cuts and economic downturn. However, it is in a time such as this that Germanna is needed even more," he added.

Sam thanked the Stafford Economic Development Authority for deciding to invest $300,000 in the project over three years. He said that decision helped make it possible to begin offering classes in the fall semester.

Sam and Brehm met recently with Donn and Donna Hart, partners in the Aquia Park development, to finalize details for the college's space.

Aquia Park is located on the west side of U.S. 1, about a quarter-mile south of the Garrisonville/Aquia exit of Interstate 95.

The school will have four classrooms plus offices and computer space in a two-story office building.

Donna Hart said the plan is to have the space ready for Germanna in July.

The North Stafford location brings to four the number of Germanna campuses or centers. In addition to its main campus in Locust Grove, the college operates the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper and a Fredericksburg campus in the Massaponax area of Spotsylvania County.

Stafford Economic Development Director Tim Baroody said the North Stafford facility is the result of roughly four years of effort on the part of college, community and government officials.

"A lot of pieces have come together and we are delighted," Baroody said. "It obviously helps us provide additional work force develop-ment opportunities to our residents. Obviously, that helps Stafford economic development."

College officials realized that many Stafford residents driving north to work did not want to extend their commute to Germanna's Fredericksburg campus. The college also recognized the growth in population and businesses in North Stafford.

The North Stafford center is envisioned as the first step toward establishing a free-standing campus. Sam said this week that he is still looking for a donor to provide land for a campus.

Germanna officials expect North Stafford students to have a variety of goals, including an associate degree, preparing to transition to a four-year college and enhancing workplace skills to continue in a current job or make a career switch.

The college will assess the needs of North Stafford students over the first two or three semesters to pinpoint the community's interests, Germanna spokesman Mike Zitz said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972