Dr. Charles D. Terrell is the fourth President of Eastern WV Community and Technical College (Eastern) bringing three decades of rural community college teaching and administrative experience. He is an advocate on building and strengthening relationships with business and industry employers by giving them direct input and involvement in developing workforce training programs delivered through a community college. “That way, the college stays in tune with the changing economic climate in the community and region,” he pointed out, and “becomes and continues to be a valuable partner and contributor to economic development.” President Terrell signed the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge in 2011. Through the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge, community college presidents commit to advance entrepreneurship in their communities and create an entrepreneurial culture on their campus and multiple access points to support local startups and small businesses. His goal is to ensure that Eastern is involved in one of the most pivotal conversations about what they can do to advance economic prosperity in its region. There are two reasons this is important: 1. Expanding entrepreneurship is vital to building a vibrant and sustainable economy. 2. Community colleges are ideally positioned to lead in furthering economic development and entrepreneurship based on accessibility, strong ties to local communities, affordability, and diversity of student populations. Moving beyond the traditional role of workforce development, community colleges can advance local ecosystems by fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and supporting entrepreneurs and job creation. In 2013 Eastern created the Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IREED) to create, support and sustain an innovation-based economy in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. “Higher education is not a sport — but as in sports,” Dr. Terrell pointed out, “faculty, staff, students and community are central players striving to reach specific goals. My goal is to be a good coach —inspiring, energizing, and facilitating the performance, learning and development of every player. “Because in our arena, when students and the community are successful,” he emphasized, “the whole team wins.”
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