CNCC hears suggestions on programming

More than thirty county residents were introduced to CNCC's new vice president of instruction and vice president of business and administration during the Community Networking Meeting Tuesday, which also gave attendees an opportunity to join a brainstorming and discussion session about the college's current and future programs. EMMA VAUGHN PHOTO

RBC | More than 30 community leaders, members and Colorado Northwestern Community College administrators and employees gathered Tuesday in the Weiss building at the CNCC Rangely campus for the countywide CNCC Networking Meeting to join a discussion and brainstorming session of what kinds of programs Rangely and the surrounding areas need, are wanted or can be implemented in the near future.
New Vice President of Instruction Keith Peterson kicked off a lively discussion on how CNCC is spearheading the movement to integrate with the community.
“We can’t expect the community to want to get involved with us if we don’t get involved with it,” he said.
Several programs and ideas were brought up along with perceived issues of why programs that are already offered are not being utilized by community members. Among the targeted conflicts, communication issues and getting the necessary information out to the public was a major problem recognized by both community leaders and CNCC staff. Secondly, scheduling conflicts seemed to be a recurring theme which was addressed several times.
Angie Miller, human resources director of CNCC, urged the group that if they see something they like but the schedule doesn’t work, to send the college a note so they can make changes. They are tracking those missed opportunities and trying to find ways to make programs accessible to everyone.
The need for stronger partnerships with the different entities in the community that require certain trainings and certifications and how CNCC can be of service to those programs and qualifications was also discussed. Both sides of the aisle need to come together to ask if a community need can be met and how that can be implemented. Miller urged that what types of services are desired needs to come from business owners, entity representatives, community office holders and volunteer organization members, so there can be movement on CNCC’s end to bring those certifications and accessibility to information and trainings in our own backyard instead of going out of town for those services.
Some of the programs determined to be of interest to the Rangely community were a welding certification course which is already in the works, automotive mechanics, CPR and first aid certifications and outdoor leadership programs, among others. Vice President Peterson reiterated, “What we are hearing today is more trade-based programming, more things where tactile learners can excel. We need to conceive a new way about doing things up here in order to be successful and that’s basically because we really haven’t done that in the past. What we’re hoping to do from these conversations in early next spring or summer is to put together a comprehensive plan based on all the data from what you all have had to say, present it to our various communities and boards and say this was more that just a piece of pizza and dessert and thank you for your time and we’ll see you again in two years and you can tell us the same thing. We intend to act on this conversation, and more than that we intend to inform you how we are going to do that and when we are going to be able to accomplish it.”
CNCC held three different meeting times throughout the day in Craig on Nov. 26, Rangely on Nov. 27 and Meeker on Nov. 28. CNCC President Ron Granger concluded the Rangely meeting by commending all those in attendance and the effort shown by the Networking Group to bridge the divide and bring the two communities of Rio Blanco County together. Introductions were also made of the new Vice President of Business and Administration James Caldwell, who offered an invitation to “come up the hill” and be a part of CNCC, and a sincere promise that they will come down the hill to be a part of our communities.