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NCCCS President to speak at HCC Founders Day

Halifax Community College will hold a Founders Day Ceremony at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8 in The Centre. North Carolina Community College (NCCCS) President, Dr. Scott Ralls will be the keynote speaker. The event is free and open to the public and is a celebration of HCC’s 42nd anniversary.

Ralls is the seventh president of the NCCCS. With 58 colleges serving more than 800,000 students each year, the NCCCS is the third largest in the United States and is internationally recognized for its programs to foster economic and workforce development.

Having assumed the presidency on May 1, 2008, Ralls is only the second system president to have served as a local North Carolina community college president and the first in 30 years. Between 2002 and 2008, Ralls served as the president of Craven Community College. During his tenure, the college achieved record enrollment growth and annual fundraising support, and gained recognition for innovations in technology-based workforce development. The college also significantly expanded its health care education programs and gained statewide recognition for fostering unique educational partnerships.

Ralls has been an active leader in North Carolina’s early college and high school transformation initiatives, having been appointed to the North Carolina New Schools Board by Governor Mike Easley. With 37 early college high schools on its campuses, North Carolina community colleges host 22 percent of the early college high schools in the United States. Ralls has also worked with the British government in its review of community college-equivalent Further Education colleges in England, and in 2007, he was named the 10th honorary fellow of Warwickshire College in the U.K.

Ralls has previously held workforce development leadership positions at the state and national levels, including as vice president of Economic and Workforce Development for the NCCCS where he helped foster collaborative programs with North Carolina’s biotechnology and information technology industries. He has also previously served as the director of the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment and Training where he worked closely with the state’s Workforce Development Boards and provided state oversight of job training programs for disadvantaged individuals and those affected by plant closings.

At the national level, he served as the manager of Workforce Programs for the National Institute of Standards and Technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he fostered workforce development programs through the national network of manufacturing extension centers, and as a policy specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor where he authored the national report, “Integrating Technology with Workers in the New American Workplace,” and was a recipient of the Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award.

Ralls holds a Bachelor of Science degree with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, where his research focused on technology implementation, workforce training and issues affecting older workers.

He is married to Lisa Rowe Ralls, the former vice president of Marketing and Strategic Planning for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development in the Research Triangle. They have two sons.

Dr. Scott Ralls, North Carolina Community College (NCCCS) President