Archive for the ‘AB Tech’ Category

Trustee Hurley Appointed to State System Foundation

Monday, August 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Richard Hurley, an A-B Tech Trustee since 1996 and former chairman of the Board of Trustees, has been appointed to the North Carolina Community College System Foundation Board. He is one of seven new, at-large members who will serve four-year terms.

The North Carolina Community College System Foundation is a non-profit foundation working to enhance the capacity of the state’s community colleges as well as increase public advocacy, encourage innovation, recognize excellence and build leadership. The Foundation also provides scholarship opportunities for student excellence and in high-priority programs.

Hurley, a retired executive from Square D Corporation, also sits on the A-B Tech Foundation Board. He was honored in 2007 with the A-B Tech President’s Award for his dedication to the College. He has served as the United Way’s general campaign chair twice, and received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a past president of the Executive Board of the Daniel Boone Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a founding board member and past president of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Western North Carolina, and an alumnus of Leadership Asheville II.

He also has served on the boards of the American Red Cross, the Community Relations Council, the Family Services Center, Asheville Community Theater and the Arts Alliance.

Business Plan Competition for Entrepreneurs at A-B Tech

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – In collaboration with Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, A-B Tech’s Entrepreneurial Institute is sponsoring a Business Plan competition for businesses in Western North Carolina.

The entrepreneur selected will receive a $1,500 cash award plus Resident or Affiliate client status in the Business Incubator at A-B Tech’s Enka site for 12 months. The winner will also receive a free half-day strategic planning session with a business counselor from the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Western Carolina University.

The competition is for both start-ups and existing businesses wishing to expand. The deadline for applications is Aug. 25 and all applicants must be available to present their business idea to the selection committee on Sept. 8.

For more information and application, visit MED or contact Jill Sparks at [email protected] or 254-1921, ext. 5849.

Find Government Contracts on the Internet through A-B Tech

Friday, August 12th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech‘s Center for Business and Technology Incubation will present a free seminar titled “Finding Government Contracts on the Internet” from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 17 in room 140 of the Haynes Building at the College’s Enka site.

Participants will learn how to find federal and state contracts online, respond to solicitations, research regulations, conduct market research on government agencies, and develop a capabilities statement. The seminar is presented by the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center/Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

To register, visit www1.abtech.edu/ce/registration

Exploring the Profitability of a Food Business in Asheville

Monday, August 8th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech‘s Center for Business and Technology Incubation will present a seminar titled “Exploring the Profitability of your Value Added Agriculture, Food or Natural Products Business” from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays from Aug. 17 to Oct. 5 in the Small Business Center at the College’s Enka site.

During the eight-week program, attendees will learn if an agricultural, food or natural products idea or hobby can become a profitable and sustainable business. The class will utilize the NC REAL program to emphasize the market forces, financial planning, product development, and entrepreneurial skills necessary to determine if a concept can become a sustainable, competitive agricultural, natural product or food business.

The course is $55. To register, visit www1.abtech.edu/ce/registration.

Camp HERO at A-B Tech Gives Youth an Inside Look at Emergency Responders

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – For a week in July at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 13 youths investigated crime scenes, examined blood spatters, navigated their way through a smoke-filled apartment and practiced life-saving skills during the College’s Camp HERO (How Emergency Responders Operate). The camp, for ages 11 to 15, gave students an introduction into the lives and operations of firefighters, law enforcement officers and paramedics.

Sophia Robinson, 12, discovered what she saw on television wasn’t exactly what happens in real life. “The stuff on TV is way, way different than what police officers actually do. You have to have a warrant for searches,” she said. “I want to become a forensic scientist and work for the FBI.”

The camp was led by college instructors from Fire Protection Technology, Criminal Justice Technology and Emergency Medical Science. “They volunteered their time to give kids the opportunity to experience some of the exciting aspects of our respective fields,” said Elizabeth Nealon, A-B Tech Criminal Justice Technology Instructor.  “Local fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies also participated, giving the kids an additional realistic perspective.”

The campers especially enjoyed being able to watch a Haz-Mat robot in action and use a extinguisher to put out a fire. Various emergency responders in the community came by the Hemlock Building to give demonstrations and to show students the tools of the trade, allowing them to explore emergency vehicles and practice CPR in a moving ambulance.

“I wanted to become a police officer and when my mom saw this camp, she told me about it,” said Will Childers, 14.  “I have felt really encouraged by this. I found out I truly loved law enforcement. I learned police have to be careful because of the dangerous situations. I also learned to be nice to the people you arrest so they will comply.”

Instructors took the initiative, while sticking to the planned framework of the program’s concept, to remain flexible to address the specific wants and interests of individuals in the group.  “As the camp progressed, some self-defense techniques, handcuffing methods and critical analysis of a couple of ‘COPS’ episodes were addressed at camper’s requests, to personalize their camp attendance to them,” said Chris Fay, A-B Tech Criminal Justice Chair. “In what is an evolving camp concept, attendees learn from ‘HEROs,’ and ‘HEROs’ learn from attendees.”

Campers left Friday with a crime scene, evidence and law workbook, fingerprints and sample documents, a firehouse cookbook, camp T-shirt, First-Aid skills and Heartsavers certification.

A-B Tech Culinary Team Brings Home the Silver

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech‘s Culinary Team won a silver medal in national competition. Team members are, from left, Stephen Hertz, Sidney Ann Caton, Tracy Williams, Jonathon Zetterholm, Team Captain Danny Schwalje and Team Coaches Frederick Snyder and Charles deVries.

A-B Tech’s Culinary Team won a silver medal in the American Culinary Federation Student Team Championship July 26 in Grapevine, Texas.

“Winning the silver at the national level is exceptional,” said Bronwen McCormick, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Education chair. “There are only a handful of people who are able to do that.”

The competition requires student teams to prepare 24 plates of a four-course signature meal, while also being judged on their floor skills. Medals are awarded based on the number of points teams earn from a possible 40. A score of 36 is needed to receive gold.

A team from A-B Tech has made it to nationals five times in the past eight years after winning first place in state and regional competition. This year’s team faced student chefs from the Joliet Junior College in Illinois, who won the only gold medal in the competition; Oregon Coast Community College and the Culinary Institute of America.

“I am extremely proud of our team, and enjoyed working with them the past 10 months,” said Chef Charles deVries, Hospitality Education Instructor and a team coach. “During the pressure of a national competition they were calm, and organized. They communicated well and enjoyed working on what they love to do – cook.”

Danny Schwalje serves as team captain while each member prepares a course. Members are Jonathon Zetterholm (appetizer), Stephen Hertz (salad), Tracy Williams (entrée), and Sidney Ann Caton (dessert). Culinary Instructor/Chef Frederick Snyder also serves as coach for the team.

“The team was excited going in and coming out of the competition. Over the course of the year, they all have grown and will take with them the satisfaction of being a part of a select group in the nation – the best of the best,” said deVries.

Keith Schwock, a 2010 A-B Tech Culinary Technology graduate, was awarded a gold medal in the National Student Chef of the Year at the competition. “To watch him cook at that level gave me goosebumps,” said McCormick. “He is a real A-B Tech success story.”

Schwock is currently training under Master Chef Kevin Walker at the Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta. For the second year in a row, an A-B Tech graduate competed for the National Student Chef of the Year. Daniel Gorman, who also works at Cherokee, won a gold last year.

Cynthia Romstadt, a 2009 Culinary graduate, served as the apprentice to Kyongran “Alex” Hwang in the Pastry Chef of the Year competition. Alex, assistant pastry chef at Cherokee, won a gold medal and first place.

“Cynthia was outstanding to watch during the competition – so efficient, so confident, and so skilled and motivated to win,” said Sheila Tillman, Associate Dean for Hospitality Education.  “She later said that she has caught the competition spirit and hopes to compete for Student Chef of the Year in 2012.  We were all quite proud of her accomplishments.”

Asheville’s Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic Returning to A-B Tech Campus

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – For the second year, A-B Tech will host the North Carolina Dental Society’s Mission of Mercy, a free dental clinic for individuals in need, beginning at 6 a.m. Aug. 5 and 6 in in the gym in the Coman Student Center.

In addition to the state Dental Society and A-B Tech, the clinic is offered in conjunction with the local Dental Society, Eblen Charities, Three Streams Family Health Center, Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, and others.

Missions of Mercy, or MOM, are sponsored by the North Carolina Dental Health Fund, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to provide free dental services to those in financial need with few or no other options. The program is a grassroots effort that depends on volunteers, with funding from grants and donations.

Currently, NCMOM has enough equipment to set up a 45-chair full dental clinic, including digital x-ray, sterilization, and all instrumentation and supplies. Clinics generally have 20 to 45 chairs and services are provided for 300 to 600 patients during the two-day event. Volunteers include dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental students and members of the general public.

In 2010, the free clinic at A-B Tech proved to be one of the largest dental outreaches of its kind in the state’s history. The event served more than 750 patients, providing dental x-rays, extractions, fillings, restorative care, and cleanings, with more than $450,000 worth of dental care being provided at no cost during the three-day clinic. Jack Teague, DDS, and nearly 50 dentists and more than 300 volunteers provided the services.

Partners in the 2011 Missions of Mercy Free Dental Clinic include: Buncombe County, the Buncombe County Dental Society, Ingles Markets, Three Streams Family Health Center, Hearts With Hands, ABCCM, M B Haynes, Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, Tarheel Physicians Supply, Lowe’s, Pepsi, Hampton Inns, the Cliffs at Walnut Cove, Able-Rent –A- John, Rent-All, Biltmore Oil, Atlanta Bread Company, Extended Stay Hotels, Moe’s, Provience 620, Olive Garden, Leslie and Associates, Inc, Party Blvd, Dunkin Doughnuts, and the Janirve Foundation.

To learn more about receiving treatment or serving as a volunteer during the A-B Tech clinic, visit http://www.ncdental.org/ncds/NCMOM.asp?SnID=1065378988.

A-B Tech’s Gorman Named “Best Young Chef in the Americas”

Monday, July 25th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Daniel Gorman, an A-B Tech graduate and a sous chef at Cherokee Town Club in Atlanta, has achievements and awards that are the envy of chefs twice his age. But his impressive culinary career almost never happened.

“When I was in high school, I had planned to go to Chapel Hill for business. That was my big goal,” Gorman said. “At the last minute, I decided I didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day.”

Drawing from his passion for cooking for and entertaining his friends, he enrolled at A-B Tech to study culinary. “My mom was completely behind me, so that was great.”

In 2007, Gorman was a member of the A-B Tech student culinary team that won the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) national competition two months after he graduated. Three years later, he was named the Southeast Region Student Chef of the Year and National Student Chef of the Year.

This summer, Gorman, 23, won the Hans Bueschkens World Junior Chefs Challenge semifinals for the Americas, leading the ACF to dub him the “best young chef in the Americas.” He will compete in South Korea for the right to be called the best young chef in the world in May 2012.

During the June competition, junior chefs had four hours to produce eight portions of a three-course meal (appetizer, main course and dessert) featuring a list of required ingredients. A panel of judges evaluated the contestants’ performance and menus and determined Gorman to be the winner.

Gorman practiced 30 hours a week to prepare for the competition, in addition to the 50 hours a week he put in as sous chef at Cherokee. “It’s an honor big time. It’s exciting to take the next step. I didn’t expect to go all the way,” he said.

Canada placed second, earning a silver medal, and Chile placed third and took home a bronze medal. Chefs from Ecuador and Venezuela also competed in the Americas challenge during the Canadian Culinary Federation’s 2011 National Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Gorman’s menu focused on his own style of food, which he calls “New American with a focus on Southern cuisine.” His winning menu consisted of Kobe flat iron steak with red onion jam, asparagus salad, herb yogurt and Parmesan lavosh; buttermilk-braised halibut with pink-eyed pea cake, fava bean purée, corn relish and mustard gastrique; and strawberry cheesecake with a margarita cake inside, mint sauce, strawberry compote, and strawberry soda with sour strawberry bubbles.

Gorman won’t find out until March what cuisine he needs to prepare for the World Junior Chef title, so he is working on a budget to pay for trip until then. “I will have to take an apprentice and my coaches. I also want to take my mom, who has been so supportive. I am figuring it will cost $30,000,” he said. “I have a lot of good mentors, (Chefs) Kevin Walker and Heather Hurlbert, and 16 cooks behind me that support me at Cherokee Town Club.”  The ACF and Custom Culinary, Inc. also support him.

“South Korea is going to be interesting. It will be an extreme change in environment. I will have to have a translator,” Gorman said. “I am nervous about competing against chefs all over the world.”

Partnership Between A-B Tech and Goodwill Prepares Job Seekers For Careers in Electronic Medical Records

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
ASHEVILLE, NC – Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College have partnered to offer a class to train employees for one of today’s fastest-growing career fields and to help health care providers meet a new federal requirement that all health care records be available electronically.

The first session in Electronic Medical Records for Medical Office begins Aug. 19 and lasts for 12 weeks. The class will meet at Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center in Asheville.

Electronic Medical Records students will learn effective management, documentation and communication using electronic health information and participate in hands-on training to navigate through the various applications found in SuiteMed, a typical electronic medical records software system. A high school diploma or GED and basic computer skills are required for the course.

By 2014, the federal government is requiring all health records to be available electronically. “This mandate will mean new jobs for people who have skills in managing electronic health information,” said Shelley White, A-B Tech’s Senior Executive Director of Economic & Workforce Development/Continuing Education. The clinical and administrative medical support field already is one of the fastest-growing careers today, with a 34 percent growth increase expected over the next seven years. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average yearly starting salary for an electronic medical records technician is $25,000.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this class as an opportunity for job seekers to explore new and innovative career fields and perhaps enhance some skills they already possess,” said Joshua Pierce, Goodwill director of Workforce Development.  “Our partnership with A-B Tech enables us to offer classes in fields where jobs are available and pools the complementary strengths of both our organizations.”

A-B Tech and Goodwill already are partners in a variety of classes, including Nurse Aide I, Computer Basics, Computer Empowerment, Foundations of Mathematics, Office Professional Certifications, Hospitality, GED and English as a Second Language. A-B Tech provides the instructors and curriculum while Goodwill provides materials, space, admissions assistance and placement services for graduates of the classes.

“Electronic Medical Records training is designed for both clinical and administrative medical personnel,” said White. “Considering the number of medical facilities in our community, the need is great.  We are pleased to provide EMR training in partnership with Goodwill, expanding our partnership and creating new opportunities for students at this facility.”

About Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Goodwill is a private, nonprofit organization serving the community since 1926. Goodwill believes all people, regardless of situation, should have access to meaningful employment. Through workforce development programs, Goodwill helps individuals develop the skills they need for today’s job market.  A significant portion of the funding for its programs comes from sales of donated items in its retail stores. By donating to Goodwill or shopping in its stores, individuals support workforce development programs serving more than 40,000 people in northwest NC each year.

About Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

A-B Tech, the community’s college, is dedicated to student success. One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas or certificates in more than 60 curriculum programs through its academic divisions. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers classes and training to support the economic and cultural development of the community. A-B Tech enrolls nearly 27,000 curriculum and continuing education students, and an estimated one in four Buncombe and Madison residents has attended a class at the College.

AB Tech’s Fall Enrollment Reaches Record High

Friday, October 2nd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech’s fall semester enrollment has reached a record high, according to the registration summary as of Sept. 17. The College has enrolled 7,495 curriculum students, a 6.7 percent increase over the 7,020 students from fall 2008.

“A-B Tech’s curriculum registration has reached nearly 7,500 this semester. We’re delighted that we can have this large impact on the education of Buncombe and Madison County residents,” said Dr. Dennis King, vice president of Student Services.

College transfer programs have the largest enrollment with more than 1,400 students, followed by Allied Health programs including growth in Medical Assisting, Veterinary Medical Technology, Surgical Technology and Emergency Medical Science.

“Our students realize that with smaller classes, taught by instructors who focus on teaching instead of publishing, they will receive excellent preparation to be successful wherever they transfer,” said Kenet Adamson, Arts and Sciences dean. “This is borne out by the state’s community college performance report documenting that our graduates outperform the North Carolina colleges’ and universities’ native students as juniors. Our significantly less expensive tuition in today’s economic environment also helps convince students to choose A-B Tech as a means to reduce the escalating cost of a higher education.”

“The employment outlook in Health Care and Public Service occupations has remained relatively strong during the recent cycle of higher unemployment and economic uncertainty. Enrollment in A-B Tech’s Allied Health and Public Service programs has also remained strong and in many cases increased as workers look to change careers or move forward in their current profession,” said Ned Fowler, Allied Health and Public Services dean. “Health care and public service programs continue to be an attractive option for students at the community college.”