Richmond Community College has an important role to play in the economic recovery of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District according to Congressional candidate Richard Hudson, who was in Laurinburg Thursday to visit RCC’s F. Diane Honeycutt Center.
Following a guided tour of the center led by RCC President Dale McInnis, Hudson said that he was particularly impressed with the college’s willingness and ability to provide education that is relevant to the employment market.
“I was impressed with what I saw, especially (RCC’s) ability to adapt to the needs of employers,” Hudson said from a classroom designed to teach refrigeration and cooling skills. The classroom was created in direct response to input from employers, McInnis said.
Prior to Hudson’s departure, McInnis had one request of the candidate: “If elected … it would be terrific if we had someone call us before something comes out and asked ‘How would this effect you?’”
Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker joined Hudson in touring the facility. Parker said that he would extend the same courtesy to Hudson’s opponent, Congressman Larry Kissell, if he were to visit.
“Candidates or congressmen don’t often come by, so it’s an opportunity to disseminate information,” Parker said.
McInnis said that Hudson’s visit is part of an ongoing effort by the college to increase awareness.
“We aim to give everyone that’s engaged in the civic process an understanding of what is happening. We are moving so fast and doing so much that sometimes we don’t get to tell the story. The more people that know what is going on here, the better it is for everybody,” McInnis said.
Hudson said that the visit provided an opportunity to see the end result of a project that he participated in planning.
“I wanted to come here because when I worked (with Congressman Robin Hayes’ office), Mayor Ann Slaughter and Diane Honeycutt were conceiving the idea … and I was involved in the planning initially. I didn’t get to see it finished.”
Hudson said that his affinity for the community college system stems in part from time spent on the board of trustees of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
“The Honeycutt Center exceeds my expectations,” Hudson said.
Both McInnis and Parker said that the center as well as RCC’s current growing enrollment figures would not be possible without a partnership between Scotland and Richmond Counties and with St. Andrews University.
Hudson made a point of staying staunchly neutral in the Scotland High School, Richmond Senior High School football rivalry when the topic was brought up by Parker.
“I’m not going to get into the middle of that one,” Hudson said.