This week, the Transatlantic Business and Investment Council (TBIC) revealed that Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) met the requirements to become a TBIC-certified college making PHCC the first college in Virginia to do so.
PHCC’s programs that were assessed by TBIC include Industrial Electronics Technology, General Engineering Technologies, Applied Mechatronics, and Precision Machining.
“By achieving the TBIC Certificate, PHCC has demonstrated its capacity to provide technical training according to internationally leading standards and contributes greatly to the economic development in the region,” said TBIC’s President & CEO, Matthias Beier. “Workforce development has been gaining importance among economic developers as both the technological advances in all major industries as well as negative demographic trends have increased the demand for skilled workers.”
To be TBIC certified, a college must pass an in-depth assessment that gauges how well-designed and relevant its training programs are and how well its programs contribute to the local economic environment. Through this rigorous assessment, TBIC certifications provide internationally recognized confirmation of a community college’s ability to offer top-tier technical training that supports economic development.
For PHCC, the TBIC assessment revealed that the college’s programs are performing exceptionally well in two specific areas: supporting regional economic development and offering practical education that prepares students to launch careers in the local labor market.
“We are exceptionally pleased,” said PHCC’s Vice President of Economic and Community Development, Rhonda Hodges. “Not only is PHCC the first college in Virginia to have this international recognition, but TBIC also provided us with strong confirmation that our programs are meeting needs for both our students and the local economy.”
By certifying colleges, TBIC aims to promote transatlantic trade and investment and help bridge the gap between North American Economic Development Organizations and European companies looking to enter the U.S. market. According to statements from the council, TBIC recognizes that community colleges are key vehicles for economic development. By providing affordable local training, community colleges drive both talent development for employers and economic mobility for students.
Indeed, the TBIC certification is a sign of opportunities for Martinsville and Henry County. According to Larry Ryder, chairman of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, “the M-HCEDC is excited to learn that PHCC has become the first TBIC certified college in Virginia. PHCC is a strong training partner, and this designation will be great marketing tool for the EDC with all our clients, especially the many European companies considering our region.”