WILKESBORO (June 15, 2022) ‚Äď Something remarkable is happening in Wilkes County. First, with a goal to lift a generation out of poverty, Wilkes Community College has dramatically improved completion rates for its students over the past four years. Second, an ardent new initiative will attempt to connect Wilkes graduates with high-paying jobs in the… READ MORE
NC Tech Paths: Live. Train. Remain.
WILKESBORO (June 15, 2022) ‚Äď The nonprofit NC Tech Paths has a three-word slogan: ‚ÄúLive. Train. Remain.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre not going to reach our goals for this community if we continue to educate our best and brightest and export a high number of them to other communities around the state and around the country,‚ÄĚ says Craig… READ MORE
The Groundwork: A plan and philanthropic partners
WILKESBORO (June 15, 2022) ‚Äď Wilkes Community College‚Äôs effort to connect graduates with the tech economy didn‚Äôt happen out of the blue ‚Äď it took a plan. And it took generosity. ‚ÄúWilkes is suffering from a lot of the same challenges that many rural communities are across the nation.‚ÄĚ Lee Herring, President of the Leonard… READ MORE
MerleFest 101: Music. Moments. Memories.
WILKESBORO (April 14, 2022) ‚Äď It all started with the campus gardens. And oh, how it‚Äôs blossomed. What started in 1988 as a one-time fundraiser for campus landscaping at Wilkes Community College has grown into an annual, four-day event with 12 stages that feature bluegrass, country, gospel, zydeco, fusion music and everything in between, fueling… READ MORE
MerleFest: $12 million shot in the arm for NW NC
WILKESBORO (April 14, 2022) ‚Äď Community colleges benefit their communities in all sorts of ways. But for the past 34 years, MerleFest has benefited Wilkes County and surrounding communities in a way that‚Äôs unique to the people and music of the North Carolina foothills. ‚ÄúMerleFest is a great example of what the community colleges in… READ MORE
Cancelled MerleFest = cancelled student aid
WILKESBORO ‚Äď When officials cancelled MerleFest this month due to the threat of coronavirus, it meant more than a lost chance to hear Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Mavis Staples. It was also a lost opportunity for students at Wilkes Community College, host of the annual music festival. MerleFest helps fund critical programs at the… READ MORE
Video: Dr. Jeff Cox ‚Äď Challenges in Wilkes County
Video: Dr. Jeff Cox ‚Äď Fewer, Local Well-paying Jobs
Video: Dr. Jeff Cox ‚Äď The Rural Brain Drain and His Personal Journey
Dr. Jeff Cox President of Wilkes Community College addresses the question of the rural ‚Äúbrain drain‚ÄĚ. He describes his personal journey and how, sometimes, the lack of good jobs can lead to frustration for people who don‚Äôt want to leave their community and at the same time believe that there are not many ‚Äúgood‚ÄĚ jobs… READ MORE