Alamance County June 2021

Population
168,761

County Seat
Graham

Median Income
$49,688

Population Density Designation
Regional City/Suburban

Our Extra Miles Tour of Alamance County began at Alamance Community College, where President Dr. Algie Gatewood hosted a discussion about the Career Accelerator Program (CAP) and other workforce development initiatives. CAP engages high school juniors and seniors in apprenticeships that allow them to earn both college credit and income while attending classes and to graduate debt-free.

The program is a partnership between the Alamance-Burlington school system, the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce, Alamance Community College (ACC), and local manufacturing-based companies. One graduate told us how the CAP initiative had given him a head start on his career, teaching him valuable whole-person life skills beyond academics and technical training.

While at ACC, we also heard how the college is responding to the urgent need for first responder education to improve opioid medical assistance by planning a network link between the campus and local EMS stations that will bridge the gap between telemedicine and higher education.

College leaders also outlined their efforts to address another growing national and statewide issue – the gross underrepresentation of minority men in medical fields. ACC is partnering with the Alamance-Burlington school system on the Minority Men in Medicine program. “It is so important to give students exposure to the STEM disciplines as viable possibilities for future careers,” noted Josefvon Jones, ACC Director of Diversity & Inclusion. “If you don’t see it, you can’t be it.”

The morning wrapped up with a tour of the Dental Assisting Simulation Labs, where students get prepared to assist dentists in the delivery of dental treatment. They get valuable hands-on experience in performing chair-side and related office and lab procedures, preparing them to enter their profession with confidence. Joanna Roberts, Department Head for Dental Assisting, also walked us through her plan to place apprentice Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHCs) in local providers’ offices. CDHCs are responsible for community outreach, education, and preventive services. We were impressed with Roberts’ discussion of how much dental health affects a person’s entire well-being – which means the program is able to make a significant positive impact.

The Community in Action

Meet Dr. Algie Gatewood

Dr. Algie Gatewood is only the fourth President to lead Alamance Community College (ACC) since it opened in 1958. During Dr. Gatewood’s tenure at ACC, the college won its largest ever bond referendum – nearly $40 million – in 2018 to fund a number of major capital projects and expansions. The college also secured $16 million in county funding in 2014 to build the Advanced Applied Technology Center. Other notable accomplishments include creating a Biotechnology Center of Excellence, introducing an Early College, facilitating an apprenticeship program, and introducing nearly two dozen new academic programs and articulation agreements with state universities.

U39702, 10/21