Rep. Hudson visits SPCC

Apr. 04, 2013 @ 04:11 PM

Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) stopped at South Piedmont Community College Thursday during for his "Creating Jobs through Workforce Training" tour.

SPCC officials led Hudson on a tour of the college. Afterwards, he participated in a short round table discussion with members of the college, local officials and others.

SPCC was the second to last stop on the tour, which began Monday. In all there were ten stops on the tour at different community colleges. Hudson was scheduled to make his final stop in Polkton after leaving SPCC, Anna Haberlein, communications director for Hudson's office, said.

"I want to see what kinds of programs are offered," Hudson said.

He sees community colleges as important to job growth. He wanted to learn about the opportunities and training offered community colleges, community college needs, and challenges they face, Hudson said.

Stops during Hudson's SPCC tour included the school's advanced manufacturing center, the school's nursing program training area, and the school's EMS training area, which includes a functioning replica of the back of an ambulance, that allows that helps provide students with hands-on, real-life scenario training. Throughout the tour, Hudson met with SPCC and local community representatives who each informed him about the opportunities it provides to students.

Marcus X, an SPCC student and mentor, told Hudson about his experience at the school and how it has helped him start a business.

Before the economic recession, X sold insurance. At age 49, he enrolled in SPCC courses about the air condition and heating business. He was a little nervous about being older than most SPCC students, but the faculty and staff were supportive. They answered his questions and helped when he needed it.

With his new knowledge, he was able to start his own business, Supreme Air Quality. X graduates in May.

He now works to mentor others at the school and was happy share his story with Hudson and tell him a little about what SPCC has done for him.

"I wasn't computer savvy when I started but I left computer savvy," he said.

Besides an education, SPCC is affordable and most people graduate without student debt, he said.

During the round table discussion, Hudson spoke about what he saw at SPCC and at other community colleges and commented on the work he's doing in Congress.

Hudson talked about the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act he's working on.

The SKILLS Act would work to allow state and local officials to address the community's workforce needs by consolidating programs and services at the state and local level, according to a statement on Hudson's website.

Hudson also answered questions from SPCC officials and others.

"The people here, the quality you feel when you talk to people, it's a can do attitude," Hudson said in reference to the people he spoke with at SPCC Thursday.

"Visibility and awareness always helps the college," Stan Sidor, president of South Piedmont Community College, said in reference to Hudson's visit.

He is happy with the attention Hudson gave to SPCC Thursday and that he was able to learn about the opportunities the school provides its students with as well as concerns of school officials and others when it comes to education and job training, Sidor said.

"I think it's a real honor for us to have (Hudson) visit. We like to be able to tell our story to any politician who will listen," Tom Crooke, chairman of SPCC's board of trustees, said.

"This is a true advocate of the community college system in Washington (D.C.)," Crooke said in reference to Hudson at the end of Thursday's round table discussion.

For more information about Hudson visit hudson.house.gov. For more information about SPCC visit www.spcc.edu.