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VGCC, State DOC Officials Sign Training Agreement

Officials from the North Carolina Department of Correction visited Vance-Granville Community College’s main campus on Aug. 21 to sign an agreement that will bring more than 800 state Division of Prisons employees to the college for training.VGCC became the fourteenth community college in North Carolina to make a training consortium agreement with the Department of Correction. Sixty of the state’s 78 correctional facilities are served by such an agreement with a community college. The VGCC consortium will involve Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, Umstead Correctional Center in Butner and Warren Correctional Institution in Manson.Mary Beth Carroll, district manager for the Division of Prisons, noted that her department has worked closely with the community college system for many years, first in the form of teaching classes to inmates. More recently, the DOC turned to community colleges for in-service training for its employees. With more than 17,000 employees, the DOP is the largest division of the department, and over 13,000 of those employees are considered certified. Certified staff are required to have 40 hours of in-service training each year. The training includes firearms qualification, CPR, fire safety and safe search practices.Through agreements such as this one with VGCC, the educational institution provides a majority of the instruction, so that correctional officers, supervisors and other DOC employees do not have to take time out of their jobs to train others. “It’s also a win-win situation because we get our employees onto an educational campus,” Carroll added. “Many of our employees will go back to school while working for DOC, and most of them at least start their higher education at a community college.” Carroll praised VGCC for its beautiful campus and friendly staff.“We’re excited about this opportunity to serve your training needs,” VGCC President Randy Parker told Carroll and her colleagues. Parker thanked Carroll and VGCC Law Enforcement Training coordinator Tony Pendergrass for their work over many months to create the consortium.Polk Correctional Institution administrator Dennis Rowland was on hand to sign the agreement, and he noted that his facility already has a good working relationship with VGCC, which provides classes for Polk C.I. inmates. Rowland’s sentiment was echoed by his counterparts, Joyce Kornegay of Umstead Correctional Center and J. Haynes of Warren Correctional Institution. Haynes is also a VGCC graduate himself.Above: Seated, from left, Vance-Granville Community College Law Enforcement Training coordinator Tony Pendergrass, North Carolina Division of Prisons district manager Mary Beth Carroll and VGCC President Randy Parker prepare to sign the training consortium agreement in the board room on the college’s main campus.Standing, from left, DOP correctional training specialist Shanticia Hawkins, Umstead Correctional Center administrator Joyce Kornegay, Cynthia Bostic from the DOP Central Region office, VGCC Director of Economic and Workforce Development Garland Elliott, VGCC Vice President of Community and Economic Development Vanessa Jones, Michael Silsbee of the DOC Office of Staff Development and Training, Warren Correctional Institution administrator J. Haynes and Polk Correctional Institution administrator Dennis Rowland.(VGCC Photo)