Raleigh, N.C. – State leaders welcomed new North Carolina Community College System President Peter Hans to his new role at a press conference Tuesday morning.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) joined Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), Gov. Roy Cooper, UNC System President Margaret Spellings, and other business and education leaders with welcoming remarks at the announcement.
President Hans is a former chairman of the UNC Board of Governors and has served on the State Board of Community Colleges and the State Banking Commission. He has an undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s from Harvard University.
“We have the state’s most impressive leaders here today talking about the pivotal roles of community colleges in our state’s proud past and bright future,” said new system President Peter Hans.
“In many ways the stars are aligned for action. We have a strong bipartisan commitment to community colleges.”
North Carolina’s community college system is the third largest in the nation and the primary provider of workforce training to students across the state. There are 58 community colleges serving all 100 counties in North Carolina, and 99% of residents live within 30 minutes of a community college.
“Peter and I went to Carolina together,” Speaker Moore said. “He was an exceptional student, the kind of guy you wanted to study with for a good grade.”
“Peter shares the General Assembly’s priority of keeping our higher education systems on the cutting edge of the new economy. Community colleges are the tip of the spear in our commitment to a strong business climate, and they have chosen a great leader.”
The state General Assembly appropriates about $1 billion per year to the N.C. Community College System. The 2017-2019 state budget included $32 million for salary increases for community college personnel and fully funded enrollment growth in the system.
“Growing the economy through a strong business climate lets us not only invest in an exceptional learning environment for students, but attract the jobs of tomorrow to offer a high quality of life in North Carolina for generations to come,” Moore said.
“Our state is attracting advanced careers and it’s critical we offer students and businesses the workforce training and certifications they need to be successful in North Carolina.”
The legislature supports workforce training programs in the community college system through annual appropriations to N.C. Career Coaches that place job mentors in high schools, an ApprenticeshipNC program placing students into high-demand careers, a Short-Term Workforce Training pilot program, Eastern Triad Workforce Development projects and more.