January 10, 2017
Harvest Foundation officials and leadership from New College Institute gathered Wednesday, Jan. 4 to talk about the future of NCI and how Harvest will continue its long-standing partnership with the organization.
“After meeting with NCI leadership, we’re hopeful that the path forward will positively affect the lives of people in the region,” said Allyson Rothrock, president of the Harvest Foundation. “Harvest’s strategic focus zeroes in on supporting programs that increase the number of people with degrees, diplomas, certifications and industry skills that will lead to living wage employment.”
Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, said he took on the challenge as chairman of the NCI Board of Directors because he’s confident that NCI can be a major catalyst in transforming the region, and being the cornerstone in the foundation of Southside’s future success.
“In the last several weeks, I’ve learned that I share similar hopes for and concerns about the future of NCI with the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors,” Stanley said. “I am confident that with this renewed partnership with Harvest, along with the leadership of our new executive director, we will work together diligently and with alacrity to transform NCI into an institution of higher learning that will be Virginia's leader in providing students with a world-class, 21st-century education. I am committed to recommence progress at NCI, and I am grateful for our continued and stronger relationship with the Harvest Foundation.”
Dr. Leanna Blevins, executive director of NCI, said, “NCI exists because the Harvest Foundation took a stand some 13 years ago. I came to this community then because I shared a common vision with the Harvest leadership – that our area can be revitalized through the power of partnerships to create an educated workforce. I continue to believe in that vision, and because I, alongside the committed staff and faculty at NCI, am willing to work to make it happen. During recent conversations with those at the Harvest Foundation, they reinforced their commitment to advancing NCI to its highest potential. I’m optimistic and excited about NCI’s future, and I appreciate the Harvest Foundation’s continued support.”
Harvest remains committed to its original challenge to the Commonwealth of Virginia to support a four-year, baccalaureate degree-granting institution, according to Rothrock.
“The lines of communication will remain open and we look forward to considering future grant requests and proposals that demonstrate a pathway to meaningful outcomes that will positively benefit this region,” Rothrock said. “Harvest wants nothing more than to see NCI succeed. We intend to continue discussions and our long-standing partnership with NCI.”
Dr. Paul Eason, chairman of the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors, added, “We are all open and ready to hear how the leadership at NCI will move the needle in providing educational opportunities for Martinsville and Henry County residents, as well as those across our region. We look forward to a positive and productive partnership with NCI moving forward.”
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