Randolph Community College gears up for growth with strategic plan

Linda Brown of Randolph Community College makes a presentation to Randolph County commissioners, from left, Kenny Kidd, interim county manager Will Massie, chairman Darrell Frye, David Allen and Hope Haywood. (Courtesy photo)

ASHEBORO – Randolph Community College could be on the move in a variety of ways.

RCC’s strategic plan includes the possibility of an additional campus and offering of emerging programs.

“We believe that by aligning our instruction and training with the evolving needs of industries, we can empower our students with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing job market,” RCC president Shah Ardalan said.

The college has formalized much of the vision and rolled out plans to the public.

“The strategic planning process is not merely a roadmap – it is a testament to our resilience and adaptability in an ever-evolving educational environment,” RCC board of trustees chair Reynolds Lisk Jr. said in a release from the school.

RCC leaders made a presentation to the Randolph County board of commissioners earlier this month, marking a significant step in getting things rolling.

The strategic plan is labeled to cover from 2024-30.

Darrell Frye, chairman of the Randolph County board of commissioners, said money from sales tax has been set aside to support RCC’s targeted expansion, though college officials know they’ll need long-term support from the county board. Frye praised the experience and approach from RCC’s board of trustees.

Much of what RCC officials have emphasized is the growing need to support and prepare students because of industries related to the Toyota Battery plant and Wolfspeed moving into the area.

Linda Brown, who’s new in a role as RCC’s strategic planning and development officer, said it’s crucial that the school be attentive to the needs that will come with the job market that’s emerging.

With that in mind, RCC has purchased 22 acres in Liberty for a potential new campus. That property is near the intersection of U.S. 421 and N.C. 49.

Mayor Filmore York of Liberty wrote to Ardalan in support of a campus on the eastern part of the county.

“Considering Liberty’s proximity to the epicenter of this industrial growth, we propose that Randolph Community College explore establishing a satellite campus in our town,” York’s letter said. “Such a strategic move would not only benefit RCC and its workforce development partners but also position RCC as an integral partner for Liberty, contributing significantly to our economic prosperity.”

The college establishing a Liberty location could be up to three years away, pending approval.

“It fits with the county’s direction right now,” Frye said. “It would take the availability of the community college to that part of the county.”

RCC officials will be available as part of public meetings to provide more information and solicit input regarding the strategic plan. Those gatherings have already started and will continue through late April.

Some of those in the coming month include with March 6 (MidState Rotary at Four Saints Brewing Company in Asheboro), March 11 (Franklinville Town Council), March 12 (Seagrove Town Council), March 14 (Asheboro City Schools board of education), March 14 (Uwharrie Charter Academy), March 18 (Randolph County School System) and March 28 (RCC’s Archdale campus).

By Bob Sutton