Dr. Dale McInnis is not in an enviable position.
The president of Richmond Community College joined a prestigious group of people Thursday night when the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce honored the Norman-area native as Citizen of the Year at the chamber’s 31st annual meeting at, appropriately, RCC’s Cole Auditorium.
McInnis sees his position, and that of the college, as unique among two-year colleges in that RCC is pivotal in Richmond County’s goal of achieving economic prosperity. In other locations, such institutions of learning simply serve as a stepping stone for students who move on. The idea at RCC is that students are ready for tomorrow’s workforce today after they complete their work on the Hamlet campus.
Next month, RCC will take another step towards fulfilling that vision at the dedication ceremony for the John E. Forte Building, home of the Joseph J. Prischak Center for Engineering Technology. The event is set for 2 p.m. on Feb. 18 on the RCC campus.
The project was funded in part by the Golden LEAF Foundation, which contributed $500,000 for the expansion project and another $474,000 to help equip the expanded facility with the latest in advanced manufacturing equipment.
The goals of the expansion project include helping portions of the regional population become employable assets by companies seeking a prepared workforce; and to have Richmond County, with cheap land and an educated workforce, become a base of operations for new technologies.
McInnis has been honored for a job well done He was surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and fellow professionals during an evening of festivities. But McInnis seems to know that the work is only now beginning; there is no break for a society that constantly asks, “What have you done for me lately?”
We believe McInnis is up to the task. For work yet to be done, McInnis just might put himself in the position to be considered for Citizen of the Year a second time.