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NCC receives award for optical center

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From left are Correction Enterprises Director Karen Brown, NCC President Dr. Bill Carver and Deputy Secretary of the N.C. Department of Public Safety Gwen Norville.

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From Contributed Reports

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Nash Community College ​has been awarded the Platinum Partnership Award by Correction Enterprises for providing complimentary space and outstanding cooperation for an on-campus optical center.

Correction Enterprises has operated an optical production facility manned by inmates at Nash Correctional Institution since 1998. In 2008, Correction Enterprises opened its first optical fitting and sales center in Raleigh, followed by a second center at the Nash Correctional Institution administration building in January 2015 to serve customers in the eastern part of the state.

“The optical production facility allows Nash County inmates the opportunity to gain ​valuable marketable skills during their incarceration. Research shows this type of skills training can promote successful reintegration for individuals upon release,” Nash Community College Vice President of Corporate and Economic Development Wendy Marlowe said.

Last fall, the prison needed the optical location for prison staff expansion. Nash Community College, which has provided vocational training to Nash Correctional Institute inmates through the years to better prepare them for life after prison, provided on-campus space for the optical center in January.

The on-campus location is a space for optical staff to meet with people interested in purchasing the eyeglasses. The program is offered to North Carolina state employees and dependents and provides prescription eyewear at a ​significantly ​reduced ​cost compared to other retail outlets.

“We created this special award in appreciation for those who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to supporting N​orth Carolina Correction Enterprises’ vision to create a safer North Carolina through the changing of lives,” Correction Enterprises Director Karen Brown said. “We could not have picked a better first recipient of this award than Nash Community College.”

In fiscal year 2017, the center produced $4.4 million worth of glasses for the state’s Medicaid patients, state prison inmates, vocational rehabilitation clients as well as state employees and retirees of state and local governments.

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