In celebration of Higher Education Day, nine presidents from West Virginia’s community and technical colleges (CTC) signed the “Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge” of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) at the state capitol.
Pledge signers commit their institutions to undertake entrepreneurial practices that increase economic vitality in their communities.
Dr. Sarah Tucker, chancellor for West Virginia Community and Technical Education, presided over the pledge signing in addition to Mike Hall, chief of staff from Gov. Jim Justice’s office, NACCE president and CEO Rebecca Corbin, representatives of the state House and Senate and CTC presidents and students.
The West Virginia college presidents who signed the pledge include:
- Dr. Peter Checkovich, Blue Ridge CTC (Chancellor Tucker signed on his behalf)
- Dr. Eunice Bellinger, Bridge Valley CTC
- Dr. Charles Terrell, Eastern West Virginia CTC
- Dr. Keith Cotroneo, Mountwest CTC
- Dr. Bonny Copenhaver, New River CTC
- Dr. John Moore, Pierpont CTC
- Michael Koon (interim president), West Virginia Northern CTC
- Dr. Chris Gilmer, WVU at Parkersburg CTC
This is the first time that community college presidents have signed the pledge at a state capitol.
“West Virginia’s community and technical colleges have demonstrated a game-changing commitment to encouraging and developing entrepreneurial thinking across our campuses,” Tucker said during the pledge signing. “Just last year, we became the first college system in the nation to join with the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative to make entrepreneurism a core part of the community college experience in our state. Today, our presidents have signaled yet again their dedication to this important mission by signing the NACCE pledge, through which we will see even greater focus on educating West Virginia’s future entrepreneurs.”
Through the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge, community college presidents promise to complete five action steps that further entrepreneurship in their communities and support local start-ups and businesses. After forming teams to focus on entrepreneurship, the presidents will:
- Connect with entrepreneurs in the community
- Collaborate with industry in your region
- Focus on business and job creation
- Share stories through events and the media
“Through this important tool, college leaders learn how to meet challenges and explore untapped opportunity,” said Corbin.