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Grant awarded to NCC vet tech program

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From left are NCC President Dr. Bill Carver, NCC Grant Coordinator/Principal Investigator Melanie Townsend, North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission Program Officer Jeff Camden, NCC Vice President of Advancement Pam Ballew and NCC Board of Trustees Chairman Paul Jaber.

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From Contributed Reports

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Nash Community College has been awarded $136,739 by the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to provide support for the college’s new Veterinary Medical Technology program.

The “From Farm to Vet Tech” project funding will assist with the purchase of instructional, clinical and lab equipment for students to prepare for careers in the field of veterinary medicine.

From Farm to Vet Tech is a Nash Community College workforce initiative that will utilize the implementation of a new Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Medical Technology to help address a gap in the region’s workforce. Currently, North Carolina offers minimal educational opportunities in veterinary medicine and animal health. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects particular job growth to occur in rural areas for veterinary careers.

NCC’s Veterinary Medical Technology program is one of only six VMT programs offered in North Carolina and the only one located in the northern and eastern region of the state.

“Potential employers in the region were surveyed, and results indicated skilled veterinary technicians are in demand both in Nash County and regionally. This confirms national trends showing increased employment opportunities in veterinary medicine. Employers indicated they would hire graduates immediately if they were available,” Vice President of Instruction and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Trent Mohrbutter said.

The From Farm to Vet Tech project is intended to benefit unemployed and underemployed individuals affected by the downturn of the tobacco industry. Program initiatives will include the creation of a Veterinary Medical Technology pathway for students participating in Agricultural Education courses at Southern Nash High School among other county collaborations promoting animal health and welfare.

“The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Nash Community College to build the new Veterinary Medical Technology program. We are confident that this new program will not only prepare students for any excellent career, but will help North Carolina producers care for their livestock,” Tobacco Trust Fund Commission Board Chairman William H. “Bill” Teague said.

Some students interested in the Veterinary Medical Technology degree began taking prerequisite courses and general education requirements, including the Vet Assist certification through Continuing Education in Fall 2017. The first Veterinary Medical Technology student cohort will begin taking classes in the Fall 2018 semester. Applications are being accepted through May 20, 2018. Individuals interested in the program should visit www.nashcc.edu/VMT for information or contact nccvettech@nashcc.edu.

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