Martinsville Bulletin: Local educators focus on the future during discussion

Martinsville Bulletin: Local educators focus on the future during discussion
Martinsville Bulletin Photo: Angilee Downing (from left), Dr. Jared Cotton, Rev. Jane Johnson and Charles Fraley discuss education and workforce development. (Photo by Amie Knowles)

October 30, 2016


MARTINSVILLE – “Let me be a myth buster,” Dr. Angeline Godwin, President of Patrick Henry Community College said. “Workforce development is college too.”

Dr. Godwin addressed education professionals at a panel discussion convened by Rev. Tyler Millner of Morning Star Holy Church at New College Institute on Friday. Henry County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton, Martinsville City Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Angilee Downing, Eastman Chemical Company Human Resources Manager Charles Fraley and Grace Presbyterian Church Rev. Jane Johnson discussed both the positive and negative aspects of the community’s educational system.

“Education is all wrapped up in me, but it all started with my mother,” Rev. Millner said. “I was the first of the congregation, the first of 38 and three Ph.D. candidates, to graduate from college. Education is in my DNA.”

Rev. Millner, Dr. Godwin and the panel discussed similarities, differences and misunderstandings between entering the workforce after high school and continuing education.

“There’s a crisis in our community,” Dr. Godwin said. “We’ve got high unemployment and open job positions.”

While the scenario sounds uncanny, one major issue festers not around a lack of able bodied workers, but around a lack of education – including vocational education.

“That is the dynamic of our community. That is real,” Dr. Godwin said. “It’s just flat out social hypocrisy.”

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