Betz leaves PDCCC post

Published 8:41 pm Saturday, January 28, 2017

By Wendy Harrison

Special to the News-Herald

Randy Betz, who has worked in Paul D. Camp Community College’s division of workforce for 10 years and as vice president since 2008, has resigned his position to pursue a new opportunity at Tidewater Community College in downtown Norfolk.

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“As project coordinator, I will be assisting people who need the most help in completing training and acquiring employment,” he said about his new job.

Dr. Renee Felts has accepted the role of vice president for workforce development in addition to her current position as vice president for institutional advancement. She will provide high-level oversight of both departments.

A director will also be hired for Workforce to execute day-to-day operations.

Betz has taken lead on many successful workforce projects involving specialized training that have helped clients as well as helped students prepare for particular jobs.

“Randy has spent 10 productive years in workforce development spearheading countless initiatives, building partnerships and providing job opportunities for the citizens of our region,” said PDCCC President Dan Lufkin. “His strong leadership skills, along with his many contributions to the college and community will be missed.”

Betz recalled initiatives that he helped with or headed, although he was quick to give credit to former leadership, employees and community leaders with whom he worked. Some of those he mentioned included :

Warehouse and distribution, logistics and machine technician training under Bob Hayes’ leadership;

Expansion of Kids College and design of Encore Learning programs by Teri Zurfluh;

Development of innovative and customized training for business and industry clients by working with Ann Stephens;

Development of the Certified Production Technician Program through Career Development Center’s Angela Lawhorne;

Fast Track Welding Program that led to direct employment, headed by Larry Brunson;

Information Technology Certification programs that placed more than 20 graduates into jobs, coordinated by Lisha Wolfe;

And expanding the facilities rental to accommodate more than 100 events per year under the coordination of Harvey McLemore and dedicated staff members.

“Renee Brown and her front office staff play a key support role for all Workforce Development initiatives,” he added.

Some new initiatives include the expansion of the Truck Driver Training Program facilitated by Lufkin, asphalt training for workers on VDOT projects in collaboration with Germanna Community College and the new Industrial Maintenance Electrical and Instrumentation Program.

Betz also cited the leadership of the Regional Workforce Development Council as crucial to these initiatives.

While previously working at Union Camp and International Paper, Betz learned from both employers the value of helping his colleagues succeed by providing resources and a positive work environment.

He brought those values with him when he transitioned to the workforce center, serving as a coordinator and associate director, beginning in 2004.

“I was fortunate that my predecessor, Carolyn Crowder, set the groundwork for the division’s impact in our community and continued to support us by working part time on various projects during her retirement,” he said. “I worked with her to develop our HVAC program. She also spearheaded our pharmacy technician program, now in its fourth year.”

Betz recalled a time of economic turmoil that devastated citizens in the western region of Hampton Roads.

“Government agencies, local foundations, retirees and other people who just wanted to help banded together to provide resume writing and interview preparation courses, wrap-around services, occupational training, job fairs and many other support services that to this day probably remain unacknowledged,” he said.

The PDCCC Regional Workforce Development Center was awarded the National Council for Workforce Education Award for a Noncredit Training Program for the Hampton Roads Marine Skilled Trades Training Program.

Betz has also been honored with the Expanding Workforce Opportunities Award from the Virginia Community College System.

“It has been an honor to serve Paul D. Camp Community College,” he said. “The people of Western Tidewater will always have a place in my heart. Carry on!”