On behalf of the Board of Directors and our community college members and strategic partners across the country, I am pleased to greet you as the 2021 NCATC President. It is a true honor and pleasure to serve. We have to admit that 2020 was a trying year for our country, and the reality is that in 2021 we are still facing disruption around COVID-19. The majority of our members and strategic partners have been impacted by restrictions that are not only limited to travel. College enrollments have been negatively impacted and unemployment numbers have significantly risen. Working from home and virtual meetings have become not the exception but the norm. Your affiliation with NCATC could not be more important than it is today! In an October 5, 2020, report, McKinsey & Company noted that “a new survey finds that responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years – and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.” NCATC is well-positioned through our strategic focus areas – Industry 4.0: Emerging Trends in Advanced Technology and Smart Manufacturing; Apprenticeships, Work-Based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Workforce Development; Competency-Based Learning in Workforce Development; Industry-Recognized Credentials and Certifications; and Adult Education and Learning Opportunities – to be a solution provider assisting your businesses and community in keeping up with the accelerated needs that will develop from this disruption.
As a community college leader charged with the responsibility of workforce and community solutions at my college, I readily acknowledge that NCATC has been a pivotal resource that we have used for services that range from feasibility studies around our Advanced Technology Center to recommendations around equipment trends, correctional workforce programs, funding opportunities, and equipment and software acquisitions. But the most valuable asset to me is the countless years of experience that can be tapped into with a simple email or phone call. The members of NCATC collectively represent several hundred years of expertise, and that value truly showed its worth as we discussed our role around social awareness, which led us to our first webinar on diversity and inclusion. NCATC is the most valued resource in my toolbox. I look forward to meeting you either virtually or face-to-face later this year if things permit, and I hope to hear how you have been able to enhance your value as a result of the numerous offerings from NCATC.
Chris Lewis, MBA
2021 NCATC President