13th Annual NC Defense and Economic Development Trade Show Brings NC Companies and Military Contractors Together to Talk Business

Tuesday, August 5, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on FTCC’s Campus

  • Show hosted on campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College with NC Military Business Center
  • United States Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan will participate on site as co-hosts
  • Northrop Grumman, Raytheon among top military contractors attending
  • Robotic, Canine, Tactical Weapon and Vehicle live demonstrations throughout the day
  • 100+ businesses to display manufacturing, technology, consulting and industrial services
  • Annual show is the largest gathering of military contractors in the state
  • Department of Defense has annual impact of $48 billion and is second largest sector of NC’s economy

2013 DTS CollageThe 13th Annual North Carolina Defense and Economic Development Trade Show, the only show of its kind in the state, will take place on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College on Tuesday, August 5.  The show provides opportunities for North Carolina businesses to network with major defense contractors and DoD buyers, as well as learn more about defense procurement processes.  Technology, manufacturing, logistical support and diverse service providers will find a ready audience among DoD buyers and major defense contractors, seeking businesses and partners to equip the nation’s military and reinforce the business infrastructure critical to military bases and combat technology.  The trade show, which includes procurement workshops, live demonstrations, small business panels and “Lessons Learned” forums, will be held on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, at FTCC’s Horace Sisk complex (2201 Hull Road, Fayetteville) from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

The event will include a traditional trade show, static displays and demonstrations of military equipment, informal networking opportunities, structured teaming sessions, government procurement workshops and extensive networking opportunities for both prospective and current federal contractors.  Fort Bragg will provide several military static displays with accompanying military personnel to include M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team with equipment and robots, a Long Range Surveillance Detachment Team demonstrating their equipment, a parachute rigger team with parachute packing demonstrations, and an Airborne infantry squad with weapons and equipment.  At 11:15 AM, K2 Solutions, Inc. will provide a special demonstration of their canine security and explosive detection training dogs.

United States Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan will be present as co-hosts for the event.  “Partnerships between North Carolina’s military bases and our state’s businesses – large and small – are a win-win alliance,” said Senator Hagan, adding “The Defense Trade Show provides an opportunity for our military, whose needs are constantly changing, to connect with North Carolina’s businesses and manufacturers.”  Senator Richard Burr added, saying, “North Carolina proudly hosts a large military presence in our state, and it is important that our state’s businesses get connected with defense contractors and DoD officials.”

According to a 2013 report from the NC Department of Commerce, the DOD has an annual impact of $48 billion and is the second largest sector of NC’s economy, behind agriculture.  This includes payroll, veteran payments and procurement, including prime and subcontracts with North Carolina businesses.  Federal agencies executed some $4.9 billion in prime contracts alone in North Carolina during federal fiscal year 2013.

For More Information and to Register for the Event:

Changes to Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program

Beginning on August 18th at the start of the Fall semester, the Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program at FTCC will undergo a massive change. As mandated by the North Carolina Community College System, all community colleges will change the name “Cooperative Education” to “Work-Based Learning” because it more clearly reflects the educational experience.

What is Work-Based Learning (WBL)?

Work-Based Learning is an educational option that provides students an opportunity to apply classroom learning with paid (or non-paid) work experiences, much like an internship. Students are placed in jobs related to their major and career goals in area businesses, industries, and public agencies which provide increased levels of responsibility and training as students carry out their work assignments.

What are the Requirements to Participate in Work-Based Learning?

All WBL students are pre-screened by the WBL Coordinator to ensure they meet not only FTCC requirements, but also all the State requirements. These include:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Must be officially enrolled in a program that offers the Work-Based Learning option
  • Must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in the “major/core” courses

When are WBL courses offered?

Work-Based Learning courses are offered every semester at FTCC:

  • Fall semester (August through mid-December)
  • Spring semester (January through mid-May)
  • Summer semester (End of May through July)

Also effective for the Fall 2014 semester, participation in the North Carolina Department of Labor Apprenticeship may be substituted for WBL reporting criteria for employers. If you participate in the NC DOL Apprenticeship Program, please contact me at atkinsok@faytechcc.edu or 910-678-8268.

Additionally, four new curricula will be added to the WBL program:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Fine Arts
  • Associate in General Education
  • Associate in Science.

The WBL courses for these four curricula will differ slightly in that all will consist of no more than 1 credit hour (160 work hours per semester) and students will not have to fulfill the 12 credit hour requirement prior to taking a WBL course. Instead, they may take the WBL-111 (Work-Based Learning I) class their very first semester at FTCC, which is a great opportunity for those students who are uncertain of what major to declare. For example, a recent high school graduate entering the Associate in Science program at FTCC could complete the WBL-111 course by job shadowing at a police station. This student will not only gain real world experience, but also discover whether criminal justice is a desirable career path.

If you are a student or employer interested in participating in the Work-Based Learning program, please contact me:

Karen Atkinson
Work-Based Learning Coordinator

FTCC Celebrates the Opening of its All American Veterans Center

  • The Veterans Center is a result of Federal legislation, HR4057, providing educational/job training support to vets as they transition from active duty to civilian life.
  • FTCC is nationally recognized for its veterans program, “Providing everything that’s essential for a successful transition.”
  • Grand opening scheduled for 2:00 PM, Monday, June 16, on Fayetteville Campus
  • Importantly: June 22 marks the 70th Anniversary of the GI Bill

Entrance to All American Veterans CenterFayetteville Technical Community College will officially open its on-campus All American Veterans Center on Monday, June 16, with a ribbon cutting ceremony, remarks from state and federal officials and a dedication of the facility to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  The Veterans Center reflects the school administration’s commitment to support fully those who served their country and are now transitioning from active duty to civilian life.   In a one-stop-shop, the Center provides veterans access to up-to-date, personalized information and the best possible resources to support their making informed, intelligent decisions regarding their higher education, job training and career track.  The All American Veterans Center is reflective of a Federal commitment to assure veterans are able to make the most of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.  HR 4057, passed in September, 2012, specifically required the VA to implement a comprehensive policy that aids veterans in making informed decisions about their choices in pursuit of higher education.   FTCC’s Veterans Center is recognized by the Student Veterans of America as among the top 10 such programs across the country.  And, Military Times has ranked FTCC as second highest on their list of Best for Vets for Career and Technical Colleges in 2014.

What’s provided at the Veterans Center

“At FTCC, we are committed to helping our veterans remain competitive in today’s job market,” said Dr. Larry Keen, president of FTCC, adding, “It is critical that our nation’s channels to higher education and job training stand ready to put our veterans to work.”   The Center offers customized veteran tutoring and success coaching. Resume writing, interview preparation and job placement assistance are all veteran-specific.  Networking opportunities are scheduled with military-friendly employers and veteran’s organizations, while other off-campus providers are given a space and schedule to avail themselves to vets on a regular accessible basis.  The college’s Small Business Center, together with Innovation Fund North Carolina, offers on-campus business coaching to those wanting to start a new business or who simply need help developing their business plan.  A computer lab, furnished with a generous grant from the Home Depot Foundation, provides an accessible academic environment for veteran students to complete homework, search for jobs or apply for benefits.  And a lounge area is available simply so vets have a place to call their own on campus.

Meeting veteran-specific needs helps assure their success

Many veterans, through their service, have received the necessary training to earn licenses in some occupations or college credit for certain courses.  FTCC’s Veterans Center helps student veterans navigate that process and receive the credit and credentialing they’re due.   Additionally, veterans face numerous challenges, from a missing sense of camaraderie to feeling like an outsider among 18-year-old traditional students to a lack of understanding by university faculty. Taken together, with the visible and invisible wounds of war, a college education can prove a tremendous challenge for men and women returning from military service.

FTCC’s Veterans Center works to address these issues at a number of levels.  First, program administrators engage early with active duty military, National Guard and Reservists, well before they begin their transition to civilian life.  FTCC helps identify the skills and knowledge that will be needed, based on a desired or projected career path, assuring transitioning military personnel make informed and intelligent decisions about their education and training opportunities.

And, importantly, the Veterans’ Center is managed and staffed by veterans, thereby immediately earning comfort and confidence among veteran students.  John Bristow served seven years in the Army, retiring as an E6 Staff Sargeant.  He’s now in the Army Reserves and looking to complete his associate degree in General Education, and thereafter earn a BS in Business and Human Resources. Through advisers at FTCC’s Veterans Center, he was able to claim 34 credits for his military service, and also identify a number of benefits that might have gone unclaimed without guidance.  “They helped me access a lot of information I didn’t even know to ask for,” he said.  Now, Mr. Bristow serves as a Work/Study Manager for the Center, and he says, “I help solve problems every single day for vets and their families. It’s so nice to be the guy looking out for vets just like they looked out for me.”

D. Wayne Robinson, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education, said,  “FTCC’s All American Veterans Center is an excellent example of a well-conceived and managed program.  It provides a one-stop central location for veterans in the Fayetteville, NC, area, providing access to everything that’s essential for a successful transition to civilian life.”

FTCC’s Student Veteran Graduation Rates

Of the 3,000 enrolled since 2012, 987 graduated in 2012/13 with another 872 graduating in May, 2014.  More will graduate at the conclusion of current summer sessions.  Of those who graduated in 2013, 13 percent went on to a four-year college or university.  The remainder pursued careers in nursing, emergency medical science, funeral services, radiography, human resource management, business management, criminal justice, computer technology fields, building construction, and plumbing.  Which is to say, they are all well on their way to a successful civilian transition.

All American Veterans Center Opening Schedule

All American Veterans Center LogoThe celebration of the opening of the All American Veterans Center will occur on Monday, June 16, at 2:00 PM.  The Center is located on FTCC’s Fayetteville campus in the General Classroom Building, along Fort Bragg Road.  (Actual street address is 2817 Fort Bragg Rd. Fayetteville, NC 28303)The official ribbon cutting will be preceded by remarks from elected officials, the President and CEO of Student Veterans of America D. Wayne Robinson and the Director of the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs Ilario Pantano.

About FTCC and it’s “Best for Vets” Ranking

2014 Best for VetsFayetteville Technical Community College was established in 1961 and serves more than 41,000 students annually by providing over 190 occupational, technical, general education, college transfer, and continuing education programs.   The school was ranked #2 by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges list for 2014. The list shows veterans which schools have put the most thought and effort into tailoring programs and policies around their unique experience. By factoring in academic quality, Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them.  To qualify for the list, schools were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic quality and financial aid, with university culture and student support carrying the most weight.  The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio and percentage of full-time faculty

For more information, visit FTCC’s website at www.faytechcc.edu.


Fayetteville Tech Awarded $10,000 Grant for New Veterans Center

Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC), announced that it is a recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Student Veterans of America (SVA) and The Home Depot Foundation through the VetCenter Initiative (VCI) partnership. Through the VCI, nearly 100 chapters applied for funds to construct veteran-specific resource centers on campuses across the country.

Recognized as an institutional best practice by Student Veterans of America and other prominent leaders in the veteran education space including the American Council on Education, resource centers have been shown to directly contribute to student veterans’ successful academic outcomes. In response to substantial demands for this resource, and as part of SVA’s continued advocacy of both peer and campus-based support, SVA partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to provide $100,000 to chapters in need of a place to call home on campus.

“Our mission at The Home Depot Foundation is to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home, and we know that for student veterans, having a comfortable home-like place to go on campus can make a significant difference in their success,” said Heather Pritchard, senior manager of The Home Depot Foundation.  Student veterans demonstrated their enterprising spirit through application submissions in the forms of various media, including photos and film.

“The quality effort demonstrated in these submissions speaks to student veterans’ commitment to their individual success and that of their peer community,” said SVA President and CEO, D. Wayne Robinson. “We look forward to seeing these projects develop, and to current and future generations of veterans benefiting from the solid foundation of progress laid by our chapters, their campuses, and our partners at The Home Depot Foundation.”

For more information, please contact Matt Thewes, FTCC Veterans Services Coordinator, at 910-273-7003 or thewes@faytechcc.edu.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Student Spotlight on Will Smith

Creating a company and starting a new business is a huge undertaking for even the most determined go-getter. Add to that a college course load with the stress of finals looming, and you have FTCC student William Smith. Set to graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree in Simulation and Game Development, Will is wasting no time laying the groundwork for his next goal: releasing a demo game under his own video game development company tentatively titled “WASD Development,” a playful reference to old-school computer game directional keys.

Seeking funding for this venture, Will took part in the second round of competition for Innovation Fund North Carolina, a statewide initiative that provides seed money to technology start-ups. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about the concept for his game and to share some insight into the challenges he has faced thus far.

Q: Tell me about your game and how it all started?

A: It (Animus the Seminal Chalice) is a Fantasy Action RPG with a new take on old story lines. One of the things that makes it unique is our magic system. It is subtle, perception and meditation-based, with a cross between old school Gnostic Druids and modern Native American mythology.

In order to graduate in Simulation Game Design, you have to take all the knowledge you’ve accumulated during your degree studies and put it together to make a working game. My independent studies of the marketplace indicate that job growth within the market is kind of flat. The jobs within game design are the ones that you make, so it made sense to put my best foot forward to ensure that what I am producing as a student is professional quality. I’ve got 25 years of fine art experience behind me and I wanted to do it 100%. It’s challenging, but if there is a way to use that time even more productively by creating the first steps of your career while you are still a student, why not do that? Push harder, go farther.

Character Sketches

Conceptual Character Sketches for “Animus the Seminal Chalice”

Q: What challenges have you faced?

A: The biggest challenge I seem to be facing is the attempt to raise funds so that we can get the demo out. We are fighting the perception of risk and fear in the market. People with money are scared to give unless they think it’s a sure bet. It seems to me that 90% of the work is just convincing people that they should cross out the word failure from their vocabulary and be willing to substitute it with mistakes. We can make mistakes as long as we learn from them, but the only way we fail is if we let fear stop us from finishing all the way through. That’s it.

WSWorks-11Q: What role, if any, has FTCC played in pursuing your dream?

A: This school has the most amazing set of mentors: Tamara Bryant, TJ Haney, Wendy Hustwit, Stephen Umland (my department chair), and Mrs. Jenneth Honeycutt, to name a few. Charles Bryant (my programming instructor) inspires me a lot. He’s really tough and it’s the only class that I got a B, but it made me hungry because I am not used to being challenged. For the first time, I had to think really hard, and it felt really good. All of the instructors here, that’s what they do, they push you. There’s a really good community here. They want to see students succeed, and I appreciate that.

Q: Any last remarks?

A: Yeah, own your power and believe that you are powerful. No matter what anybody tries to tell you, as long as you believe in yourself, then you are capable of amazing things.

As it turns out, Will made it as far as the semi-finals of the Innovation Fund North Carolina selection process. While that may sound discouraging, he has succeeded in every sense of the word. The countless hours of research, preparation, and financial planning have made Will and his team more prepared than ever to make WASD Development a reality. He endured the hard questions by the selection panel and dug deep to accommodate for every possible scenario. The mentorship and networking opportunities he experienced throughout the process have placed him in the best possible position to advance his entrepreneurial goals. And, to save the best for last, he has even secured an alternative funding source to release his demo!

Do you have the next big idea in technology? Apply for the third cycle of Innovation Fund North Carolina for the chance to win a $25,000 grant or an up to $100,000 interest free, non-collateralized loan.

Fayetteville Tech 3rd in the Nation in Digital Community Colleges Honored for Technology Innovations

DigitalSurveyAwardPhotoFayetteville Technical Community College announced today that according to e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education (CDE), FTCC was ranked 3rd in the nation in the ninth annual Digital Community Colleges Survey recognizing innovative uses of technology to achieve first-rate student learning environments by creating unique learning environments and expanding distance learning.

Survey questions and criteria examined and scored areas of digital and emerging technologies, such as use of mobile devices and technology integration into curriculum, strategic planning and data management, and professional development including availability of technology tools and training for faculty and students.  In addition, colleges were surveyed on their technology priorities, infrastructure and networks, collaboration and outreach efforts and use of technology innovations.

“Community colleges across the country are employing technology in exciting ways to develop unique learning environments on campus and to expand online learning opportunities 24/7,” said Alan Cox, Senior Vice President for the Center for Digital Education. “Many of the colleges honored this year have employed various technologies and social media to improve resources to further instructional goals. We are honored to acknowledge these community colleges’ technology advancements!”

All accredited U.S. community colleges were eligible to participate in the survey within three classifications based on size of enrollment. FTCC tied for 3rd in the Large College Category of 10,000 students of more, according to the most recent year’s enrollment count.

About the Center for Digital Education:

The Center for Digital Education (CDE) is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy, and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.  CDE is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

For more information about the Center for Digital Education, please contact Patty Cota, Director of Corporate Communications at 916-932-1300 or pcota@erepublic.