West Virginia Northern Community College receives community input | News, Sports, Jobs

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Photo of Joselyn King A focus group discussed trends in the local community during a planning session at White Palace in Wheeling Park on Friday morning.

WHEELING – West Virginia Northern Community College is looking to chart a new course for its future and is asking its community partners to help them draw the map.

WVNCC invited a cross section of community leaders to a planning session Friday at White Palace in Wheeling Park, where attendees discussed current societal trends and how they are affecting their business or organization, or the community at large.

The trends were discussed in focus groups during Friday’s second session.

The discussion in the policy panel focused on declining higher education funding was received from the West Virginia legislature.

“We need to find a skilled and well-trained workforce,” said Sharon Campbell, executive director of the Wetzel-Tyler Chamber of Commerce. “If funding for higher education is cut, there may not be a workforce. “

She suggested that as tuition fees continue to rise, it could mean that only the wealthiest will be able to afford higher education. Others, eager to continue their education, should consider military options or go into heavy debt.

Across the room, in another focus group, the discussion revolved around how best to attract employees to fill vacancies.

Bob Peckenpaugh, Chairman and CEO of the Wheeling Park Commission, explained what the lack of workers means in the hospitality industry,

“It might force us to turn away guests from the hotel if we don’t have staff to clean the rooms,” he explained.

The park commission has offered hiring incentives to workers who stay on the job for a specified period of time and adjusted pay scales, Peckenpaugh said.

“But I don’t know how effective it was,” he said.

Friday’s session was the second in a three-part series hosted by WVNCC as it seeks to develop its educational strategy for the future. The first session took place before the COVID pandemic in early 2020, and participants were tasked with determining what the current trends were in the region and across the country.

After that, Joel Lapin – Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Community College of Baltimore County – took the information gathered and produced a list of 48 noted trends in economics, labor, demography. , technological competition, social values ​​and lifestyles, education, politics and emerging industries.

WVNCC President Daniel Mosser said an upcoming third session will involve WVNCC officials who will sit down to develop the school’s strategic plan, mission, priorities and goals based on the feedback gathered. Friday with community leaders.

“(The trends discussed) are things that we think will impact the community, we think they will impact our college, we think they will impact our stakeholders,” Mosser said. . “They impact us all. “

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