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For Immediate Release


Community Partnership Awards Presented

For more than half a century, Catawba Valley Community College has served the educational needs of area business and citizens. It accomplishes this through the generous support of a number of community partners. In recognition of these outstanding contributions, each year the college presents three Community Partnership Awards during spring commencement ceremonies.

Vanguard Furniture is the recipient of the Community Partnership Award from CVCC’s School of Business, Industry and Technology.  A family-owned company founded in 1969, Vanguard Furniture is a leader in the home furnishings industry, manufacturing high-end, custom upholstered furniture. Tammy Smith, vice president of human resources at Vanguard, accepted the award on behalf of the company.  

Vanguard recently completed a three-year Customized Training Project with CVCC and the NC Community College System.  Through this project, the entire Vanguard workforce received training, which is a strong testament to its corporate commitment to education and an investment in the lives of Vanguard employees.

Vanguard gives generously of its time and resources to CVCC’s furniture program and provides numerous scholarships that enrich the lives of its employees and many others employed elsewhere. The company has played an instrumental role in the design and success of the college’s Supervisory Certification Program and sponsored many of its employees in the program over the past four years.

Vanguard was one of the first businesses to support the college’s Education Matters initiative, participating in Extreme STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) Tours for middle school students and Career Prep Conferences for high school seniors.

The Community Partnership Award for the School of Academics, Education, and Fine Arts was presented to the Alexander County Board of Commissioners.  James (“Burkie”) Jennings, chairman of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners, accepted the award on behalf of the entire board.

The award honors the board’s vision and foresight to make a major investment in regional education.  Late last year, the commissioners and the citizens of Alexander County invested $1.8 million in a 24-acre tract of land and two buildings located adjacent to the CVCC Alexander Center for Education.  This property will help the college expand its educational offerings and provide job training for the citizens of Alexander County and the entire region.  Technical and vocational training in areas such as welding, industrial maintenance, machining, and upholstery will support needs identified by local industry.  

The Alexander County Commissioners have also supported CVCC’s efforts to launch an Associate Degree program taught entirely in Alexander County.  The first cohort of 25 Alexander Central High School Students will meet state standards to qualify for taking college classes while still in high school through the North Carolina Career and College Promise Program.  Once the students graduate from high school, they can continue college course work at the Alexander Center for Education.  

Both initiatives illustrate the Alexander County Board of Commissioners’ proactive stance in promoting economic development through education and workforce preparedness.

Catawba County Emergency Services received the Community Partnership Award from CVCC’s School of Health & Public Services. Karen Yaussey, Brian Blanton and Sylvia Fisher, with Catawba County Emergency Services, accepted the award on behalf of the agency.

Catawba County Emergency Services gives generously of its staff, facilities and resources to CVCC. Two staff members serve on the college’s EMS Advisory Committee. More than 40 emergency service staff members serve as instructors or guest speakers, and many teach advanced American Heart Association courses. Most of those instructors—and the large majority of EMS staff members—are CVCC alumni. Eleven EMS bases serve as clinical training sites for student interns, giving them the kind of learning experiences classrooms alone cannot.

Recently, the Office of Emergency Management assisted in coordinating simulated lock-down emergencies on campus. It also applied for—and was awarded—a Homeland Security Grant that will engage students, faculty and staff on every CVCC campus and off-campus center in a mass disaster drill.


2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 10.30.2008: Administrator