Haywood Community College

NEWS RELEASE

Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard



185 Freedlander Drive



Clyde, NC 28721



828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-1218

Date: 12-15-06

For immediate release.

GENERAL OCCUPATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM AT HCC PROVIDES A CUSTOMIZED PROGRAM OF STUDY

When Amanda Rigdon came to Haywood Community College, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. With two children, she chose HCC because it was close to home and convenient. She soon came to enjoy the small class sizes. After taking classes in a program of study, she decided to try the General Occupational Technology program. Through the GOT program, she was able to customize the classes she took according to her individual interests.

The GOT program allows students the opportunity to upgrade skills and earn an associate degree, diploma, or certificate to become more effective workers, become better qualified for advancements within their field of employment, or become qualified for a wide range of entry-level employment opportunities.

This program was exactly what Rigdon was looking for. The 2005 HCC graduate is now employed with a new realty firm in Maggie Valley called Exit Hometown Realty. She is the Office Administrator, Marketing Coordinator, and Agent Recruiter for the company. Through the classes she took at HCC in the GOT program, she was qualified for the job. Her experience was the perfect mixture lending her people skills and computer skills through the office, network, and software classes that comprised her GOT education.

“The GOT program caters to individual preferences,” Rigdon said. “I was able to take classes I enjoyed and now I am truly happy with my job. That’s something a lot of people can’t say.”

For Ronald Putnam, 2006 graduate of the GOT program, he returned to school at a different place in his life. After 25 years of manual labor, he was faced with a medical problem that would not allow him to continue repetitive tasks. This called for a total life reevaluation. Through the GOT program, he was able to brush up on simple tasks that many take for granted. From writing letters and papers, to phone communication, his education at HCC provided him with the background he needed to survive in a different work world.

Now, Putnam is the Director of Haywood County Veteran’s Services Office. He has 24 years of experience in 3 branches of the military which gives him first hand knowledge of the benefits and services he provides to the veterans and their dependents.

But what his military experience couldn’t provide for Putnam, he received from his education at HCC. “I can’t say enough about receiving this degree,” he explains. “There is no substitute for proof of education. I use my education every day in some fashion. I would not be at the level where I am now without education from HCC. You couldn’t give a value to education.”

Putnam says the GOT program helps people fine-tune themselves in their career field. He will finish a second degree in General Education from HCC this semester and is also continuing his education at Western Carolina University.

“I chose HCC because it was close to home and it enabled me to keep my family and work going,” Putnam says. “It’s a very user-friendly school. You know someone will always answer the phone when you call.”

For more information about the General Occupational Technology program or any other program of study at HCC, please call 627-4500.

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(Cutline: ) Photos by Debra Davis. Two recent graduates of Haywood Community College’s General Occupational Technology program have found work as a result of their education. Amanda Rigdon, 2005 HCC graduate, is now employed with a new realty firm in Maggie Valley called Exit Hometown Realty. She is the Office Administrator, Marketing Coordinator, and Agent Recruiter for the company. Ronald Putnam, 2006 HCC graduate, is the Director of Haywood County Veteran’s Services Office.