N.C. Community College System President visits Gaston College
Thomas A. Stith, president of the North Carolina Community College System, visited Gaston College’s Dallas Campus on Tuesday, June 29, and met with Dr. John Hauser, president of Gaston College, as well as members of the Board of Trustees. Stith, who became NCCCS president in January 2021, is visiting each of the “Great 58” North Carolina community colleges.
During the visit, Gaston College had the opportunity to update President Stith on College News, including the school’s recent ranking as one of the best online community colleges in the United States and the recent award and recognition as the top ApprenticeshipNC Partner for 2021. Presentations also addressed Gaston College’s history of focus on student success, and the many new programs and initiatives happening at the College.
“As we go forward, more so than ever, it’s going to be the community college system that drives the economic engine in the state,” said President Stith. During his visit he continually emphasized the role of Gaston College and other community colleges as the leaders of economic recovery efforts which will make the state a greater global competitor for business and industry.
Following the meeting at the Dallas Campus, Stith traveled to Gaston College’s Textile Technology Center on the Kimbrell Campus in Belmont, N.C. to tour and speak with staff. This center works with customers locally and around the world and gives students hands-on experience with the latest textile industry technology and equipment. A new Associate of Applied Science in Textile Technology is launching this fall, and an academy for workforce training will be coming as well to help meet the growing industry demand for more qualified and skilled workers in the textile industry.
The Kimbrell Campus will also be the site of a new Fiber Innovation Center, a world-class facility focused on the future of the textile industry. With an incubator space, new polymer development lab and automated extrusion line, it will be the only facility in the world where you can take a fiber idea and convert it to a textile product under one roof.
“It was our honor to host President Stith and share all the exciting things that are happening at Gaston College,” said Dr. Hauser. “We are proud to be one of the ‘Great 58’ community colleges and we look forward to having his support and partnership as we educate and train the workforce that is vital to economic growth in our state.”