Danville Community College Expands Program

Danville, VA - Danville Community College (DCC) is expanding, and is helping a lot of local businesses along the way. Their precision, machine, and technology program had seen so much interest and success that they had to grow.

The school started thinking about it a year and a half ago. Last fall they hired another 1st year instructor and added on to the program.

As students are hard at work in a DCC classroom, businesses are just waiting for them to get a degree.

"By coming through over there at DCC, they are going to be way far advanced, farther than most of the other schools around the areas so that's a big plus," said Piedmont Precision Machine owner William Gentry.

Gentry says he hires about five DCC students a year.

And Kevin Ray Hogan hopes he will be one of them, following in his brother's footsteps.

"He's been working there since he graduated, now he is making 20 something dollars an hour," Hogan said.

"This was a real problem because industry, the demand was tremendous, many students getting 3 and 4 job offers each," said Associate Professor Troy Simpson.

Due to the high demand for workers, DCC has started to expand the program.

"We feel a real need to make sure we graduate enough students to provide our local employers the skilled workers they need," Simpson said. "We were turning students away who couldn't get into the program because of capacity problems."

Since this past fall, DCC has doubled their first year class size, but that meant a need for more space and more machines. This semester, they have taken over the welding and printing classrooms, and they hope the Governor's budget will pass.

The budget's passing would give DCC more than $3 million for a bigger space and more equipment.

As the program grows, Piedmont Precision says they're ready to bring in more graduates.

"I will get my share of them," Gentry said.

The welding and printing programs will also grow into a new building. They are just waiting on the money, which mostly comes from the Governor's proposal.