LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College’s trustees on Monday approved $300 bonuses for part-time employees and giving the college’s Continuing Education Program $14,000 for scholarships.
The $300 bonuses will be paid to each of the college’s 171 part-time employees using the $56,000 remaining after full-time employees received a 1.5 percent salary increase in September, said Kyle Chavis, the board’s Finance Committee chairman. The $56,000 in non-recurring money that is part of a state funding allotment in this year’s RCC budget that can be used only to provide salary increases and bonuses to college employees.
The RCC board voted unanimously to approve issuing the bonuses.
The $14,000 for scholarships for students taking Workforce Development and Continuing Education classes comes from the college’s Book Store Fund, said Channing Jones, RCC’s vice president of Workforce Development and Continuing Education. The scholarships will be awarded primarily to students in such classes as nursing assistant, medical office assistant, barbering, paramedic and welding. The money also will be used to support nursing students participating in the Fire College classes. The scholarships are often the “only avenue many of our students have to receive industry-recognizable credentials,” Jones said.
The $14,000 in scholarship money is expected to help about 65 students.
In other business, Robert Ivey, RCC’s director of fire service training, reported the 43rd annual Southeast Fire/Rescue and Law Enforcement Expo was “very successful.” The expo was held on RCC’s main campus and at the Emergency Services Training Center Thursday through Sunday.
Because of the training that local firefighters and rescue squad members have received at RCC over the years, they were able to successfully handle the challenges they confronted when Hurricane Matthew blew through the area in early October, Ivey said.
“We were the first responders,” he said. “The first 48 hours were on us until out-of-county departments could get here and offer assistance.”
According to Ivey, 585 students participated in last week’s training. Of that number, 304 students were from Robeson County and 281 students were from 40 other N.C. counties. There also were participants from South Carolina and Georgia.
Ivey said 365 students attended certification classes, and 220 attended non-certification classes.
The trustees also were updated on a pilot program, Industrial Scholars Program, which targets recruitment, retention and job placement in maintenance technician fields of study.
The program is funded by money made available through the Workforce Innovation and Investment Act, Jones said. The program allows eligible students to participate in a maximum of 500 hours of paid work experience and training at three different industrial sites.
“If the student gets an associate’s degree in industrial systems or electrical electronics technology and performs satisfactorily with the on-the-job training, the company will hire them when they get out of school,” Jones said.
Three scholarships currently are available. If the program is successful, it will be expanded in the fall.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.