PHCC develops new programs in response to community need

Earlier this year when America reacted to the pandemic by closing doors and limiting business, administrators at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) were reaching out and making plans.

Shortly after the pandemic hit America, Brenell Thomas, PHCC’s Coordinator of Training and Professional Development gathered with local industry representatives through several virtual round table meetings to listen to the community’s needs and craft a plan.

The roundtable discussions were the result of a partnership with the Economic Development Center, the Martinsville and Henry County Chamber of Commerce, administrators of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the Business Services area of West Piedmont Workforce Development Board. With input from these members and several local employers, Thomas developed a variety of courses to respond to the needs community members and community businesses were facing.

“By listening to the employers and community partners, we came up with this program of courses in response to the needs for skills that our workforce wasn’t prepared for once the pandemic forced everyone to new work environments and team dynamics,” said Thomas.

From these discussions, Thomas learned that many local leaders and aspiring leaders are still learning to respond to team member needs while juggling critical decisions and fast-paced changes. Responding to these challenges, Thomas designed the My TIME Workshop series. The My TIME series will be offered on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from January to June. The title My TIME stands for My Time Invested Mastering Excellence. Each month offers a new insight for effective leadership such as coaching, communication, emotional intelligence, and diversity. Participants can choose which months to participate or can enroll in the entire series to get a 10% discount.

Recognizing that some community members may not have many formal diversity and inclusions training opportunities, PHCC officials also developed a new series on that topic. The first workshop, Implicit Bias Training, will be offered via Zoom on January 7 at 11 a.m. The second workshop addressing micro aggression will be held via Zoom on January 21 at 11 a.m. Due to a partnership with the University of Virginia Cancer Center, PHCC will offer these new workshops free of charge.

PHCC is also offering several courses to address skills related to business such as communication, customer service, and Microsoft office proficiency, and specific skills for thriving in a virtual world.

Most of the courses will be offered either fully online or through a hybrid model (partly online, partly in-person) to adhere to the safety standards provided by local and national health officials.

To see all the courses offered this spring, visit or call 276-656-0260.


more recommended stories