A good investment

Published 10:23 pm Sunday, May 11, 2008

By Staff
William Harvey is living proof that one is never too old to learn.
Friday night, Harvey participated in Beaufort County Community College’s 41st-annual commencement exercises. He received an associate’s degree in applied science. Harvey also participated in the college’s first-ever commencement exercises on Aug. 23, 1968. That’s when Harvey earned a degree in auto mechanics.
Harvey’s graduation Friday night shows at least two things: People have to adapt and educate themselves as the world changes, especially in the workplace, and educators and educational institutions must be prepared to help people become prepared to meet those changes.
North Carolina’s community-college system is one of the best in the nation. The system not only prepares some students to move on to four-year college s and universities, it also prepares other students to enter the work force in trades such as welding and occupations such a nursing.
According to the system’s Web site, “The mission of the North Carolina Community College is to open the door to high-quality, accessible, educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce and improve the lives and well-being of individuals by providing (the following):”
According to its mission statement on its Web site, “Beaufort County Community College is a public comprehensive community college committed to providing accessible and affordable quality education, effective teaching, relevant training, and lifelong learning opportunities for the people served by the College.”
There should be little doubt the college is fulfilling its mission.
The college has an excellent working relationship with the Beaufort County Economic Development Commission. As the commission recruits and brings new businesses and industries to Beaufort County, the college helps train or retrain workers for those new ventures. The same goes for existing businesses or industries seeking to adapt themselves and their workers to technological changes in the workplace.
According to a Dec. 8, 2004, report on the socioeconomic benefits generated by the college, “Students enjoy an attractive 19.3 percent annual return on their investment of time and money — for every $1 the student invests in BCCC, he or she will receive a cumulative $3.64 in higher future earnings over the next 30 years or so.”
Talk about a good return on an investment.
The college accounts for $54.5 million of all annual earnings in the college’s service area — Beaufort, Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell counties, according to the report.
The report noted that for 2004, the college’s impact on its service area would result in about 62 people getting off welfare rolls and 27 fewer people drawing unemployment benefits per year, resulting in savings of $319,300 and $292,400 per year, respectively.
It looks like the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth when it comes to the college.
According to Harvey, his second graduation isn’t the end of his studies. Harvey, while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business, plans to use his new skills to supplement his income.
It looks like Harvey is more than getting a good return on his investment.